AWEA applauds FERC action on OATT reform

Washington, D.C., May 19, 2006 — The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released the following statement by AWEA policy director Rob Gramlich following the public meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on its draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) reform:

“Anyone who supports renewable energy should stand up and applaud the commission for this action. FERC’s proposal would create more space on the constrained transmission grid for any new generator including the many wind projects now seeking access.

“If finalized, this proposed rulemaking would allow tens of thousands of megawatts of new wind power to be accommodated on the grid, which will benefit customers nationwide and strengthen our economy, environment, and energy security.

“If the nation embraces the president’s vision of supplying 20% of our electricity with wind, we’ll need to go well beyond these incremental changes in the future. But given the current politics of transmission access, this is a great step in the right direction.”

Background: Variable-output, renewable energy sources like wind fit easily in the half of the country with wholesale, pool-type Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) markets, where many reforms promoting non-discriminatory access are already adopted. In much of the wind-rich West, however, wind power has great difficulty accessing transmission services. If adopted, FERC’s proposed transmission pricing and scheduling reforms, and improved process for transmission planning, will help ensure that the country taps the potential of wind power, said the AWEA.

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