powerlines at sunset

FERC’s Regional Transmission Order 1920 Supports Affordable and Reliable Electricity

Washington D.C., May 13, 2024

Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finalized its regional transmission planning and cost allocation rule. The rulemaking takes aim at regulatory hurdles that are slowing the deployment of transmission lines needed to deliver affordable, reliable electricity and prevent power outages as energy demand increases.

In response, Chaz Teplin, RMI electric sector expert, released the following statement:

“RMI research shows that electric transmission infrastructure can bring massive economic benefits to states and communities while enabling an affordable and reliable energy transition. However, status quo planning in the US has left these benefits on the table and is struggling to address the challenges of a rapidly changing electric sector. This updated guidance from FERC will position regional grid operators to proactively plan the modernized infrastructure needed to secure reliability, unlock economic opportunities, and meet growing electricity load.”

In the months leading up to the final rulemaking, 138 bipartisan federal lawmakers, corporate energy buyers representing $7 trillion in US revenue, former military leaders, both national and state-level conservative and free market organizations, labor groups, utilities, renewable energy and environmental organizations, and a range of other entities have urged FERC to strengthen requirements for regional transmission planning and cost allocation.

Additional context:

  • As abundant new energy generation projects remain stalled due to a lack of grid capacity and increasing electrification spurs new demand for power, the US grid is facing a lag in transmission buildout. While regional grid operators have made some progress on updating their transmission planning processes to meet these challenges, many of them stand to benefit from a more robust and long-term planning approach.
  • In the Western US, where transmission planning is especially fragmented, updated processes for planning and paying for transmission could enable massive economic opportunities. RMI research found that Western states are on the cusp of multiple new multi-billion-dollar opportunities, brought by both new energy investments and energy cost savings, that rely on expanded regional transmission.

Contact: Leah Komos leah.komos@rmi.org