On May 13, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued Order No. 1920, the Commission’s long-awaited final rule regarding regional electric transmission planning and cost allocation for future transmission projects on the nation’s interstate electric grid.  Order No. 1920 revises key aspects of the Commission’s current regional transmission planning and cost allocation policies, largely adopted in 2011 in Order No. 1000, in an effort to help accelerate the buildout of transmission infrastructure needed to serve the country’s changing resource mix and growing energy demand projections. 

The major reforms adopted by FERC in Order No. 1920 center around four key areas: (A) planning horizon; (B) developing planning scenarios; (C) selection of transmission solutions and (D) cost allocation, each discussed in more detail below. At a high level, the rule requires transmission providers to engage in long-term regional transmission planning at least 20 years in advance, use at least seven enumerated benefits for the evaluation and selection of long-term regional transmission facilities, and hold a six-month engagement period for relevant state entities before filing a cost allocation method for a chosen project with FERC. Yet, while the Commission’s overarching goal of Order No. 1920 appears to be the selection of efficient long-term regional transmission solutions by transmission providers, the rule makes no mention of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (National Interest Corridors), geographic areas designated by the Department of Energy (DOE) where transmission congestion or constraints have an adverse effect on consumers, and where, in certain circumstances, FERC has siting authority for transmission facilities under the Federal Power Act (FPA).     Continue Reading FERC Issues Order No. 1920 To Accelerate Regional Transmission Planning

On February 12, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced that it will award up to $100 million to support U.S. pilot projects and testing facilities demonstrating and scaling carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies.  The funding will support projects and facilities that remove carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere and store it in geological, bio-based, or ocean reservoirs, or that convert the captured CO2 into value-added products.  The funding is intended to support the development of a commercially viable U.S. CDR industry, in advancement of the goal of DOE’s Carbon Negative Shot of reducing the cost of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it at gigaton scales to less than $100 per net metric ton of CO2-equivalent by 2032.  The funding is a significant opportunity for developers and investors in CDR ventures that are prepared to deploy a pilot project in an area of interest for DOE.Continue Reading DOE Announces $100 Million in Funding to Accelerate Carbon Removal

This blog is the nineteenth in our series, “The ABC’s of the AJP.”

Increasing grid-scale energy storage in the United States is a critical part of infrastructure development.  President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) would place investments in energy storage at the center of his goals of achieving a net-zero electricity sector by 2035 and making the electricity grid more resilient.  These investments would also support the Administration’s efforts to secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for high-capacity batteries and the critical minerals that go into them.
Continue Reading Scaling Energy Storage Solutions and Securing Supply Chains

This is the fourteenth in our series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (“AJP”) seeks to assist the development of advanced nuclear power generation as part of a more general goal of developing advanced energy technologies. The AJP states that doing so will help the United States achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.
Continue Reading Nuclear Power – Can Advanced Technology Make this Baseload Power Source be the Lowest Cost, Low Carbon Solution?

The Department of Energy (DOE) adopted a new policy which extends the standard term for authorizations to export natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the U.S. lower-48 states to countries without a free trade agreement with the U.S. to December 31, 2050.  The standard term had been 20 years.  The new standard term will be allowed for current and future export authorizations.
Continue Reading DOE Extends LNG Export Terms