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West Virginia Commission Requests Rehearing of FERC 1920 Transmission Rule

June 18, 2024
The new FERC rule is expected to help the grid add more renewable energy.

The Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) has requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to revisit a decision on reforming the nation’s electric transmission systems.

The PSC asked the agency to grant a rehearing of its May 13 decision (Order No. 1920) and to modify the ruling with amendments sought by the state (FERC Docket No. RM21-17-000), stating that the agency’s 2-1 ruling exceeds its authority over the process of transmission planning.

The rule comes in combination with efforts by the Biden administration in its carbon capture emissions rule of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to enhance non-fossil fuel production of electricity. The Commission and 25 states oppose that EPA rule and seek to delay its implementation.

The new FERC rule is expected to make it easier for the grid to add more nontraditional energy, such as power created by solar and wind. West Virginia belongs to a 13-state Midwest-eastern regional transmission organization known as PJM, which also includes the District of Columbia.

The new rule requires grid operators to identify needs for the next 20 years considering changes in the energy supplies to allow for more renewables.

“We do not believe that the Final Rule fully considered the element of uncertainly and potential for error that increases exponentially as forecasts look further and further into the future,” the PSC petition said.

“The agency’s action substantially undermines states’ role in transmission planning, and will not result in just or reasonable rates,” PSC Chairman, Charlotte R. Lane said.

The lone Republican who voted against the rule said it will allow states seeking more renewables to unfairly pass on upgrade costs to their neighbors. Two Democratic commissioners also voted for it.


About the Author

Public Service Commission of West Virginia

The purpose of the Public Service Commission is to ensure fair and prompt regulation of public utilities; to provide for adequate, economical and reliable utility services throughout the state; and to appraise and balance the interests of current and future utility service customers with the general interest of the state's economy and the interests of the utilities.

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