The idea of transporting renewable energy hundreds of miles is uneconomic. It also makes decisions for individual states about where the renewable energy that meets their state goals is produced. When states set their renewable portfolio goals, the idea was to foster their own economic growth with in-state renewable energy projects providing jobs and economic growth within their own borders. Now FERC wants to decide for them how their RPS goals will be met with renewable resources from other states, and force them to pay for the privilege. FERC wants to pick winners and losers in the renewable energy business and thereby decide where renewable energy economic development will occur.
But, what if states insist on sticking with their original plans to develop renewable resources within their own borders to meet their own goals? That's what's happening in California, much to the chagrin of Nevada, who thought they were going to make a bundle exporting renewable energy to California to meet its RPS goals. In fact, California is looking at a potential surplus themselves and wants to export excess renewables to other states. This great Midwestern transmission building renaissance FERC is envisioning enabling has no market!
While FERC proceeds merrily along with their enabling of new transmission lines, they fail to objectively consider the costs of this new infrastructure, which is going to be enormous (hundreds of billions of dollars). In Texas, a huge grid build out to transport renewable energy from wind has far exceeded its original estimated cost and maybe isn't so economical after all. Electric consumers are going to be left holding the bag on hundreds of billions of dollars of debt for a transmission line build out from which they'll never derive any benefit.
The states need to give FERC a wake-up call before this disaster gets underway and the debt starts piling up.