I'm sure you just can't wait to jump right to it and read the entire 215 page order yourself. No? Don't need a sleeping pill? Okay... here are some highlights.
Despite FERC sticking with 100% postage stamp allocation in its rehearing of the Illinois Commerce Commission 7th Circuit remand, FERC agreed a hybrid cost allocation method going forward.
The new method will apply to all lines approved that are at least double-circuited 345kV or higher voltages, which means more lines will qualify to be socialized across the entire PJM region. These lines will be allocated 50% via the postage stamp method, which assigns costs based on regional load share. This is supposed to recognize "benefits" everyone in the region receives from PJM's interconnected transmission system. Right. The other 50% will be allocated via two different DFAX methods, depending on the driver for the line. The other fifty percent of economic projects (those that are "needed" to reduce congestion and prices) will be allocated proportionally among those loads that receive the economic benefit of the lower energy costs. The other fifty percent of reliability projects (those that are "needed" to relieve future reliability violations) will be allocated proportionally among those who use the new facility, and allocations will be updated yearly to account for changes in load flows over time.
And I suppose getting kicked in the behind is better than getting kicked in the head.
And speaking of getting kicked in the behind... "Clean" Line's proposal to regionally allocate a portion of its merchant transmission projects got soundly punted.
In response to Clean Line’s request that the Commission allow partial cost allocation for merchant transmission projects found to meet economic or public policy needs, we note that, while Order No. 1000 requires each public utility transmission provider to have in place a method, or set of methods, for allocating the costs of new transmission facilities selected in the regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation, it does not require a public utility transmission provider to establish a cost allocation method that would apply to any portion of the costs of a merchant transmission project not recovered through negotiated rates. Therefore, we deny Clean Line’s request that the Commission require PJM to allow for partial allocation of the costs of a merchant transmission facility through the regional transmission cost allocation method as beyond the scope of Order No. 1000.
Further, while Order No. 1000 established the information requirement discussed above, the Commission also concluded that, because a merchant transmission developer assumes all financial risks for developing its transmission project and constructing the proposed transmission facilities, a merchant transmission developer is not required to participate in a regional transmission planning process for purposes of identifying the beneficiaries of its transmission project that would otherwise be the basis for securing eligibility to use a regional cost allocation method. Thus, a transmission developer is not required to submit a merchant transmission project into the regional transmission planning process, and the regional transmission planning process is not required to evaluate a merchant transmission project for potential selection in the regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation. However, nothing prevents a transmission developer from submitting its transmission project into the regional transmission planning process for potential selection in the regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation. In that case, the regional transmission planning process would evaluate the proposed transmission project as it would any other proposed project and, if the transmission project is selected in the regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation, it would be eligible to use the regional cost allocation method. If the proposed transmission facility is not selected in the regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation, then the transmission developer could choose to move forward as a merchant transmission facility.
"Public Policy" and PJM's State Agreement Approach: A handful of "clean" energy companies and their big green Pollyanna sycophants submitted comments whining about PJM's State Agreement approach to "public policy" projects driven by individual state renewable portfolio standards. These cleaniacs think that they can force PJM to turn individual state policies into regional transmission needs, and socialize the cost as broadly as possible. The energy companies, of course, want this because they make money off renewables. The Pollyannas want this because they think they're saving the world, and they don't care how much it costs. Greedy and Clueless got slapped down.
FERC determined that PJM's "consideration" of public policy requirements in planning sensitivities is adequate (although frighteningly opaque) and the State Agreement approach to cost allocation is supplemental to O1000. This means that a project "needed" solely to meet "public policy" goals will be driven by the state officials whose policy requires it, and voluntarily paid for by those states whose policies cause it.
But, never fear, I'm sure Greedy and Clueless aren't done with their whining yet -- they do it so well -- and will continue attempts to force everyone to consume socialized utility scale renewables when better options such as distributed generation of local renewables are the more viable, sustainable choice.