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Electric transmission has once again taken center stage, as the energy industry grapples with how best to meet the clean energy goals of states, cities, utilities, and private corporations. New high-voltage transmission will be critical to integrating large-scale renewable resources, balancing the grid over greater distances, and accommodating the additional load anticipated due to electrification. Some estimates suggest that transmission capacity may need to double or triple to facilitate the clean energy transition.

Developing transmission is difficult for a variety of reasons, and this paper speaks specifically to challenges related to transmission planning, cost allocation, interconnection queues, ratemaking and incentives, and siting and permitting.

On July 15, FERC initiated an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR)—“Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection”—that will revisit transmission planning, cost allocation, and interconnection for the first time since the issuance of Order 1000 in 2011. FERC’s focus is driven by the acknowledgment that transmission is key to the clean energy transition, and the ANOPR suggests that FERC is open to bold changes.

As the industry comments on the ANOPR, this paper points to the key issues that will need to be addressed to build the infrastructure that is needed.

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