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WIRES News
An Update on Transmission Law and Policy from WIRES

Fourth Quarter 2018
WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS

EXELON CORPORATION | WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION | ALBERTA ELECTRIC SYSTEM OPERATOR | SURVEYING & MAPPING LLC
WIRES AND THE NATIONAL ELECTRIC MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION COMMENT JOINTLY ON DOE'S PROPOSAL TO CONDUCT ITS TRIENNIAL CONGESTION STUDY


WIRES and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) submitted comments in response to the notice of DOE'S proposal to conduct another triennial congestion study as required by the Federal Power Act ("FPA") to determine the state of multiple  forms of congestion on the nation's electric transmission network. 

WIRES and NEMA, in the comments applauded DOE and OE for seeking input about the scope and nature of the analysis that will be conducted in 2019. Both organizations believe that the fourth congestion study must re-define congestion in broad terms in other to understand the challenges to the future adequacy of the Nation's energy delivery infrastructure. The comments urge DOE to consider public policy, electric reliability and resilience concerns, and energy diversity concerns as among the forms of congestion deserving analysis. The comments also expressed support for the sustained efforts of DOE to ensure that the Nation's energy delivery infrastructures can sustain the national energy policy goals that the Congress recognized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and that states are adopting. WIRES anticipates that infrastructure will be among the new Congress' priorities in 2019 and contends that transmission planning and expansion deserve as much attention as roads and bridges. DOE's study may not be available to legislators within the year, however.

In that regard, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (part of DOE) prepared an impressive "seams study" in 2018, which modelled the beneficial impacts of a series of hypothetical interregional high voltage ties that would integrate the nation's patchwork grid. Despite showing benefits more than three-times-cost from major grid expansion, DOE has not yet released the NREL study.
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S DIVES INTO TRANSMISSION ISSUES


On November 15, the Department of Energy's Office of Electricity (OE) hosted a public workshop on electric transmission development and siting issues to solic it information in preparation for DOE's 2019 Triennial electric transmission congestion study. Several of WIRES members were featured speakers during this productive workshop.





Read the Workshop  Agenda.

Presentations can be found at 
Here.


WIRES SPOTLIGHT ON VIDEO REACH

WIRES' new video "Spotlight On: The Electric Transmission Grid" continued to air on PBS stations through the remainder of 2018. The video is a basic introduction to the
value of the grid and 
WIRES is thrilled with the reach that the video received with over 135 confirmed stations that reached almost 4.5 million views nationwide. The video is a basic introduction to the value of the grid and features Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) who discusses the vital importance of investment in the electric grid for the nation. Spotlight On, which is available for use as an educational tool, also features WIRES Executive Director & Counsel Jim Hoecker who argues that preparing the grid for a more electrified and challenging 21st Century economy requires a greater sense of urgency among policy makers, regulators, investors and the public. "We need to start now [to reinforce the system to meet greater future demands for power], or it will be too late," says Hoecker. 


Watch WIRES Spotlight On Transmission Grid video. 
WIRES ANNUAL MEETING IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ELECTS NEW LEADERSHIP & FOCUSES ON EMERGING POLICY CHALLENGES

WIRES 2018 Annual Meeting  was kicked off on October 24th with an overview of the successes of 2018 and looking forward into 2019. The full day of meetings was followed by the WIRES Reception in the United States Capitol that featured keynote remarks from the Honorable Richard Glick Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 
Michael Medeiros (PG&E) was elected WIRES  President for the ensuing year. He will be  serving alongside the other newly elected  members of the WIRES Board: Vice President  Tom Hestermann (Sunflower Electric Power  Corporation), Treasurer Brian Drumm  (American Transmission Company, LLC), and  Secretary David Bonenberger (PPL).
At the National Press Club on October 25, the  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for  the Office of Electricity (OE) at the U.S.  Department of Energy (DOE), Ms. Patricia A.  Hoffman and a panel of national security  experts began the Policy Session by exploring  transmission infrastructure's role in ensuring energy security, including the survival of military bases, as well as strategies for defeating attacks that could compromise the ability of energy firms to serve consumers and strategic resources.  The meeting also included panels on the future of FERC's Order No. 1000, and the impact of block chain technology on planning, operating, and investing in the grid.
Click here to read the WIRES Annual Meeting Agenda  and Presentations. 
COMING SOON! BRATTLE GROUP'S NEW STUDY ON ELECTRIFICATION AND TRANSMISSION

The Brattle Group, in coordination with WIRES members, is in the final phase of completing its study of the role of transmission in supporting and promoting the emerging electrified economy. 

The study examines the drivers for major increases in electric load and demand and how transmission and cleaner forms of electric generation will facilitate a fundamentally transformed energy economy by mid-century. It raises critical questions for regulators , planners, and the industry with respect to how we prepare the grid for this transformation.  It will stimulate important discussion about whether our current regulatory paradigm will help or hinder grid modernization in sufficient time to deliver all the potential benefits to consumers and the economy.  

WATCH FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS IN EARLY FEBRUARY!  
A NEW LOOK FOR WIRES WEBSITE

Be sure to click here to check out all that you can access:
  • Industry Events Calendar
  • New Studies
  • Social Media Highlights 
  • Press Releases
  • WIRES Reports and Resources
  • WIRES Library of Studies and Presentations
  • Industry Intelligence
INDUSTRY EVENTS

For more events, see the WIRES calendar

WIRES will hold their Winter Meeting on March 5-6 at the National Press Building. Click  here   for more details.


On November 5-6, WIRES Treasurer 
and American Transmission Company Associate General Counsel Brian Drumm  will speak at the EUCI "Transmission Expansion in the Midwest" conference in St. Louis.   Top executives from the area's RTOs, utilities, transmission developers, and state regulatory agencies will discuss and debate the most critical issues surrounding transmission expansion in the Midwest region, including planning, siting, and market structure issues alongside reliability, policy directives and economic interests. 

IF YOU NEED, OWN OR DEPEND ON ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION -
YOU SHOULD JOIN WIRES!

WI RES is the transmission industry's voice on key public policy issues at all levels of government.  During this time of change and challenge in Washington and across the country, your support for WIRES - and participation in its educational and advocacy programs - are essential to building America's electrical grid to meet both current and emerging challenges. 

If you're not already a member,  join  WIRES  by contacting Counsel and Executive Director, James Hoecker (james.hoecker@huschblackwell.com) . Comments on this Newsletter or on any matter affecting electric transmission investment may be submitted to contact@wiresgroup.com.


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