On November 5 and 6, 2019, FERC staff held a two-day workshop at its headquarters in Washington, DC on technologies that increase the capacity, efficiency, or reliability of transmission facilities.  Panelists and FERC staff discussed technologies that are currently used in transmission planning and operations, challenges associated with the deployment of grid-enhancing technologies, and regulatory actions that might promote increased adoption of these technologies going forward. A formal notice requesting written comments will soon be issued. 

Commissioner Richard Glick provided opening remarks discussing the need to build additional transmission capacity, FERC’s statutory obligation under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to incentivize utilities to improve the efficiency of the grid, as well as FERC Order No. 1000, where, according to Commissioner Glick, FERC essentially laid the groundwork for better consideration of non-transmission alternatives, including grid enhancing technologies. Staff described the workshop as complementary to Docket Nos. PL19-3 (Inquiry on Improvements to Electric Transmission Incentives Policy) and AD19-158 (Managing Transmission Line Readings).

The workshop included five panels, each of which began with a short presentation followed by facilitated discussion. Panelists included representatives from various public utilities, transmission providers, state commissions, Regional Transmission Organizations/Independent System Operators (“RTOs/ISOs”), as well as research and policy groups. Topics addressed included:

  • Panel 1: Overview of Grid-Enhancing Technologies
  • Panel 2: Grid-Enhancing Technologies in Operations
  • Panel 3: Grid-Enhancing Technologies in Transmission Planning
  • Panel 4: Regulatory Approaches to Deployment Challenges
  • Panel 5: Deployment Challenges from an RTO/ISO Perspective

FERC will issue an official notice soon setting a deadline for submitting written comments.

A webcast of the workshop, as well as links to the comments and presentations are available here.