On March 15, 2011 from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) staff will hold a technical conference (the “Conference”) to consider issues related to “ownership of and priority access rights to new transmission projects.”  Members of the Commission may attend the Conference which will be open to the public. Advanced registration is not required.

As discussed in the February 22, 2011 Notice of Technical Conference, Conference participants should be prepared to address new transmission infrastructure ownership models in the context of independent and/or merchant transmission and generator lead lines.  Also, participants should be prepared to address the economics of proposed projects and how they are affected by current Commission affiliate pricing rules and pricing structures.  Participants are also encouraged to be prepared to address the need for priority access mechanisms and how these can be consistent with open access principles.  In connection with generator lead lines, the Commission is interested in the nature of these lines and the application of open access policies as they relate to the lines.

Overall, the Commission is interested in what participants find is an appropriate balance between open access policies and non-discriminatory treatment and the needs of developers.

A copy of the Commission’s Notice is available at www.ferc.gov and here.