Washington (DC) — The Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) just approved new transmission planning, cost allocation, and siting requirements for rapidly accelerating the development of infrastructure needed to strengthen our electricity grid and successfully accommodate increased energy demand across the country. Combined with recent federal actions to advance offshore wind, these new rules will help ensure this vast domestic resource can play a major role in creating a more sustainable, reliable, and affordable electricity grid for America.

“Modernizing America’s electric transmission system is critical for achieving a clean energy future powered by offshore wind. FERC’s new rules are a major step forward in ensuring long-term transmission planning and siting processes that can effectively unlock the power of offshore wind energy at scale,” said Catherine Bowes, Senior Director at Turn Forward. “Offshore wind power is already creating thousands of jobs across the country, and these new rules will help build the modern transmission grid needed to scale this resource and deliver transformational benefits from offshore wind power across the country.”

The new rules include a range of provisions aimed at accelerating transmission development, including requiring transmission providers to develop and regularly update minimum 20-year plans with new flexibility in developing innovative funding approaches. The rules also create new requirements for more effectively balancing the costs of transmission with a wider range of benefits, accounting for state policies in planning decisions, increasing transparency in the planning process, and expanding community engagement — including specific provisions that require Tribal and Environmental Justice Public Engagement Plans. Additionally, the rules require transmission project applicants to more proactively engage with local communities and provide detailed information on potential impacts to environmental, environmental justice, and Tribal resources and how their project development plans will address them.

Together with the Department of Energy’s recently finalized Coordinated Interagency Transmission Authorization and Permits Program, the Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Action Plan, and plans to designate electric transmission corridors in the national interest later this year, these actions bring unprecedented new federal leadership to the table that can greatly enhance the ability of America’s grid to integrate vast, domestic clean energy opportunities like offshore wind.

More information on each of the new FERC rules can be found here:

  • FERC Order 1920: Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation
  • FERC Order 1977: Applications for Permits to Site Interstate Electric Transmission Facilities

Turn Forward is an independent, non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to advancing an ambitious vision for American offshore wind power that meets today’s climate, economic, equity, and environmental challenges.

For media inquiries, please reach out to media@turnforward.org