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APPA, TAPS urge FERC to revise proposal on access to interconnection facilities

From the August 1, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published August 1, 2014

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal to curtail the open access obligations of utilities that own, control, or operate interconnection customer interconnection facilities (ICIF) "fundamentally erodes open access," the American Public Power Association (APPA) and Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS) said. While FERC said the proposed rule seeks to reduce the burdens and risk on owners of these facilities, it would grant ICIF owners vertical market power over access to their facilities, APPA and TAPS said in July 29 comments.

The commission "can achieve its objectives without throwing out the open access baby with the bathwater," APPA and TAPS said. They suggested several alternatives, including a modified open access transmission tariff or requirements for third-party service applications.

If the commission opts to move forward with its proposed rule, APPA and TAPS said it should: (1) restrict the scope of the proposal so that affiliates of transmission providers cannot take advantage of the blanket waiver for interconnection facilities within the transmission provider’s planning region; and (2) confirm that public power utilities and other non-jurisdictional ICIF-owners (in reliance on the blanket waiver for investor-owned utilities) need not seek individual waivers to protect themselves from claims that they have not satisfied reciprocity.


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Vice President, Integrated Media and Communications
Meena Dayak

Editorial Director
Robert Varela

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson

Communications Assistant
Fallon W. Forbush

Manager, Integrated Media 
David L. Blaylock

Integrated Media Editor 
Laura D’Alessandro