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Markey urges FERC to implement new policy on transmission incentives aggressively


From the December 3, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published December 3, 2012

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
A key House member has urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission "to be aggressive in implementing" its new policy on incentive rates for new transmission projects. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., ranking Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, lauded adoption of the new policy statement as a "pro-consumer decision that could save New England electricity consumers $57 million or more annually in the coming years."

"The policy guidance issued by FERC says that electricity consumers are going to be forced to pay more than that to transmission companies that build new facilities only where there is a darn good reason for it," Markey said. "I agree." Since the implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, "nearly every transmission project built in New England has qualified for these bonuses, costing electricity consumers millions of additional dollars," he added.

New England’s current transmission plans include $5.7 billion in new transmission projects that are under development, Markey said. "By avoiding incentive bonuses that would force consumers to pay an additional 1 percent or more on top of the base return, consumers can hope to save $57 million per year or more in coming years."

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