Who Pays For New Transmission? Supreme Court Refuses To Decide

By Harvey Reiter

On February 24, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take a case that could have settled the long simmering issue of who should bear the burden of funding large scale transmission projects to move power from remote renewable energy rich regions to the consumers who can use that power. The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal of FERC’s decision to approve a MISO methodology for allocating the costs of large "multi-value" projects among its customers means the debate about who should pay (and how much) rages on.

As a result, disputes about allocating the costs of large transmission projects will continue to be addressed by FERC and the lower courts. The Supreme Court’s decision also adds increasing importance to the outcome of appeals challenging FERC's Order No. 1000. That order mandated public utilities to fashion regional cost allocation agreements. FERC's authority to do that is at issue in the Order No. 1000 appeals, which will be argued before the D.C. Circuit on March 20, 2014.

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For more information on how the allocation of transmission costs can impact your business, or to learn more about pending cases impacting the allocation of transmission costs, contact your usual Stinson Leonard Street contact.

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