Reply Comments of the R Street Institute on Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection
Comments filed in this proceeding overwhelmingly support the main thrust of the NOPR—advance holistic, proactive transmission planning. The glaring omission of the NOPR is retaining an artificial silo between economic and reliability projects, which RSI’s initial comments expand upon. The Achilles Heel of the NOPR are its anti-competitive elements, which would not only impose harm on the order of tens of billions of dollars or more but also risk undermining productive reforms in the NOPR.
The winning formula for the Commission is to “refine the good and jettison the bad” in the NOPR. The comments of the Advanced Energy Economy laid this out in endorsing the core aspects of the NOPR while asking FERC to strip out counterproductive anti-competitive elements like reinstatement of the right of first refusal (ROFR). RSI echoes this sentiment, noting the record reflects ample evidence on how to refine the good already but needs clarification on how to jettison the bad. In fact, the beneficial parts of the NOPR largely address the strategic incumbent transmission owner (TO) behavior the NOPR uses to justify ROFR, whereas ROFR itself creates legal risk, undermines state buy-in and imposes economic harm.