This news release was originally posted on the Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition website on November 4th, 2014.

Coalition Urges U.S. Department Of Energy To Help Deploy High-Capacity Transmission Lines To Bring Renewable Energy To Power Markets

        The bipartisan 23-member Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition today urged public support for FERC Order 1000 after a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals recently denied a rehearing of its unanimous decision in South Carolina Public Service v. FERC. That decision upheld every aspect of Order 1000.

“Order 1000 is the primary policy vehicle available to update our nation’s outdated electrical grid,” said South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, chairman of the Coalition. “With the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals’ rejection of a rehearing, it is now time for all parties to work together to ensure that our electric grid is planned, paid for and built in the most effective way possible.”

Order 1000 is the legal and policy framework for the expansion and modernization of the nation’s transmission system to improve reliability and competition, and provide consumers with access to lower cost sources of energy, such as wind energy. Order 1000 requires regions to develop plans for how electric transmission lines are planned and paid for so that transmission systems can be developed efficiently.

“It’s time to begin in earnest a discussion of our nation’s transmission needs, and to focus on the benefits of getting renewable energy resources like wind to the people and businesses who want them,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee, vice chairman of the Coalition. “The Court of Appeals’ has spoken. Let’s get to work.”

Also, in a letter sent today to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Governors Daugaard and Inslee urged the Secretary to use his authority under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to promote high-voltage transmission facilities that will encourage clean energy and economic development by connecting renewable energy sources with power customers.

“Expanding and modernizing the nation’s domestic transmission system are essential components to revitalizing the nation’s economy and creating jobs. The nation’s electrical transmission system is as important to our states’ economic development today as the nation’s interstate highway system was 50 years ago,” the governors wrote.

“And, like the interstate highway system, the nation’s high voltage network is aging. It was planned and built for more limited electricity markets and uses. It is inadequate for the electrical demands of our states’ modern information-based economies. A robust transmission infrastructure increases connectivity and provides a foundation for a competitive business environment that states can offer to businesses and the citizens they employ.”

New high-voltage transmission lines can deliver significant amounts of new wind energy to different regions of the country. By utilizing its authority under Section 1222b of the Energy Policy Act, the department can send an important signal to the marketplace that the United States can successfully site and build major new high-voltage direct current transmission projects.

The letter goes on to state that “the nation’s most cost-competitive wind energy resources will never bring value to our states’ economies or the nation’s unless we support the private sector’s creation of a modern system to deliver that power to the marketplace. Long-distance transmission is often a critical link between these resources and the customers who want clean and less expensive energy without the damaging fuel price spikes of other electric generation resources.”

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