On October 1, 2009, FERC released its Strategic Plan for FY 2009 to 2014. The Commission affirmed its mission of maintaining reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy for consumers by setting two primary goals:

  • Ensuring that rates, terms and conditions are just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential; and
  • Promoting the development of safe, reliable, and efficient energy infrastructure that serves the public interest.

Under each goal, the Commission lays out several objectives.  For instance, to ensure just and reasonable rates, the Commission’s first objective is to ensure the implementation of appropriate regulatory and market means for establishing rates.  The strategies used to employ this are:

  • Establish rules that enhance competition by allowing non-discriminatory market access to all supply-side and demand-side energy resources;
  • Promote operational efficiency in wholesale markets through the exploration and encouragement of the use of software and hardware that will optimize market operations;
  •  Develop and implement a common set of performance metrics for markets within and outside of independent system operators/regional transmission organizations; and
  • Promote broad participation, including the use of alternative dispute resolution services, in the Commission’s processes and procedures.

The second objective is to increase compliance programs and self-reporting of violations.  The strategies for this objective are:

  • Promote internal compliance programs and self-reporting of violations; and
  • Use a risk-based approach to plan and prioritize audits of jurisdictional companies.

Meanwhile, the Commission’s first objective to develop safe, reliable, and efficient energy is to increase efficient infrastructure consistent with demand.  The strategies for this objective are:

  • Encourage new electric transmission facilities that advance efficient transmission system operation;
  •  Support electric transmission planning through the use of open and transparent processes that include analysis and consideration on a comparable basis of proposed solutions involving any of generation, transmission, and demand resources; and
  • Promote efficient design and operation of natural gas facilities.

The second objective for this goal is to minimize any risks to the public.  The main strategy for that objective is to incorporate risk-informed decision making into the dam safety program.  Finally, the third objective under this goal is to maintain the reliability of the electric transmission grid.   The two strategies for this objective are:

  • Process Reliability Standards in a timely manner and
  • Monitor, audit, and enforce Reliability Standards.

In addition to laying out its various goals and objectives, the Commission’s Strategic Report discusses factors that may affect each goal and the Commission’s evaluation of its various programs.  A copy of the strategic plan is available at: http://www.ferc.gov/about/strat-docs/FY-09-14-strat-plan-print.pdf.