With its landmark Order No. 1000 regional and interregional transmission planning and cost allocation rulemaking, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) launched a new era of competition in the development and construction of regional transmission facilities. In spite of FERC’s aggressive efforts to promote competition in regional grid development for the benefit of consumers, Order No. 1000 recognized that certain obligations imposed on existing public utilities required approaches that would allow those utilities the right to build certain facilities necessary to ensure the utility’s continued compliance with mandatory federal reliability standards and continued fulfillment of obligations to serve retail customers.
Against substantial opposition, we advised and successfully prosecuted before FERC a modification of the cost allocation for reliability projects (Baseline Reliability Projects) in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO). The modified cost allocation recognizes the changes to transmission planning and cost allocation that MISO has adopted since the Baseline Reliability Project category was established. Essentially, these projects will not be subject to the requirements of Order No. 1000, which was filed at the same time as this case was being prosecuted, and the clients will be able to address reliability needs of their respective transmission systems more promptly. With a strong understanding of the complexities of the federal energy landscape, Wright & Talisman continues to prosecute the matters on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.