The bipartisan Governors' Wind Energy Coalition has urged the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to show strong support for FERC Order 1000, as the group says the order could help bring more renewable energy to power markets.
The 23-member group makes its call after the U.S. Court of Appeals recently denied a rehearing of its unanimous decision in South Carolina Public Service v. FERC. That decision upheld every aspect of Order 1000.
FERC approved Order No. 1000 in 2011 in an effort to reform electric transmission planning and cost-allocation requirements for public utility transmission providers. The coalition says the order is the legal and policy framework for the expansion and modernization of the U.S.' power grid and is slated to further enable the integration of renewables.
"It's time to begin in earnest a discussion of our nation's transmission needs and to focus on the benefits of getting renewable energy resources like wind to the people and businesses who want them," says Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, vice chairman of the coalition. "The Court of Appeals has spoken. Let's get to work."
In a letter sent to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Inslee and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, chairman of the coalition, urged the secretary to use his authority under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to promote high-voltage transmission facilities that could encourage clean energy and economic development.
"The nation's electrical transmission system is as important to our states' economic development today as the nation's interstate highway system was 50 years ago," the governors wrote. "And, like the interstate highway system, the nation's high-voltage network is aging."
The letter goes on to state that "the nation's most cost-competitive wind energy resources will never bring value to our states' economies or the nation's unless we support the private sector's creation of a modern system to deliver that power to the marketplace."