New Projects, Renewables

FERC commissioner: States must take the lead on developing transmission grids

SunZia Southwest Transmission Project New Mexico

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Member Philip Moeller said states will need to take the lead in developing transmission grids that cross state lines to connect renewable energy sources to urban areas, according to a report from the Lawrence Journal-World.

Moeller made the comment while visiting the Bowersock Mills & Power Co. hydropower plant in Lawrence, Kan., according to the report. While producing renewable energy is a problem, Moeller said building transmission systems to carry the electricity is a bigger challenge that states will need to play a leading role in solving.

According to the report, Moeller said under the current federal energy laws, FERC does not have jurisdiction in developing transmission grids across state lines. While the commission has the authority to regulate natural gas pipelines, Moeller said it does not have the same authority on electric transmission.

“So essentially the problem is, this is interstate commerce, so one state can either block or slow down a power line that benefits another state,” Moeller said, according to the report. “That’s a very inefficient, costly, risky process.”

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