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States, Transmission Providers May Enter into Voluntary Agreements, FERC Says

June 18, 2021
States and transmission providers may enter into voluntary agreements to plan and pay for transmission facilities.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently issued a policy statement to clarify that states and transmission providers may enter into voluntary agreements to plan and pay for transmission facilities.

Voluntary agreements could provide states with a way to prioritize, plan, and pay for transmission facilities that, for whatever reason, are not being developed under the regional transmission planning processes required by FERC Order No. 1000. The recent policy statement seeks to address concerns that the Federal Power Act (FPA) and FERC policies interfere with the creation of these voluntary agreements.

The policy statement notes that neither the FPA nor existing rules and regulations categorically preclude these voluntary agreements, and to the extent that states, public utility transmission providers, or other stakeholders believe that the relevant tariffs impose barriers to any such agreements, the Commission is open to filings to remove or otherwise address those barriers.

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