Chairman Wood outlines FERC 2003 >>>

Federal regulators plan to finish work on Western energy markets in the first quarter of this year, according to FERC chairman Pat Wood III.

“The three key elements for a strong and secure energy market are the same in 2003 as they were in 2002—balanced market rules, adequate infrastructure and vigilant oversight,” Wood said last month at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), Washington, D.C.

Noting that the commission has a full plate of issues before it, Wood outlined FERC’s vision for the coming year. “Clearly, we plan to wrap up much of the Western market proceedings in the first quarter and focus on the long term health of the nation’s energy markets.”

Wood announced that the commission will issue a white paper on its proposed Standard Market Design (SMD) rule in April.

While moving forward on implementation of regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and SMD, the commission has “embraced the flexibility needed to accommodate regional concerns,” he said. “We will continue to do so in implementation as well.”

“The commission engaged in an extensive public outreach in developing the SMD proposal and will continue to listen to all constituencies in developing its final rule.”

A provision in the SMD proposed rule suggested that all new transmission construction follow from a competitive procurement process. Wood observed that this provision could slow down needed transmission investment in the near term, and therefore should not be included in the commission’s final rule.

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