Tip Sheets

FERC rules critical for coordination and a resilient electric grid

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved new rules for building-out and updating the nation’s electric grid.

Rick Geddes

Professor, Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy

Rick Geddes, director of the Cornell University Program in Infrastructure Policy, says the rules help to ensure a fair approach to cost sharing and will help boost grid resiliency in the face of increased demand, cybersecurity threats and extreme weather.

Geddes says:

“Although there has been some investment over the last two decades, the overall advanced age and condition of America’s electrical grid are a growing concern — considering additional burdens from renewable power and growing consumer demand. These developments typically do not consider extreme weather events.

“FERC’s new Grid Expansion Rule adopts specific requirements addressing how transmission providers must conduct long-term planning for regional transmission facilities and determine how to pay for them. Those long-term improvements can benefit from public-private partnerships and policies to strengthen such implementation.

“The rule strives to ensure that customers will pay only for projects from which they benefit.

“The requirement for better planning is a key tool to ensure that grid updates are better coordinated, particularly through public-private partnerships and policy changes.

“The new planning rules may also help address the concerns about cybersecurity that FBI director Christopher Wray has been expressing.”

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