Regional Transmission Organization!
Is it PJM?
Is it MISO?
Is it SPP?
Which Regional Transmission Organization is it?
It's merchant transmission wanna-be Clean Line Energy Partners!
Go away, Clean Line, you're not a Regional Transmission Organization!
The U.S. Department of Energy has finally published Clean Line's third "application" to have the DOE "participate" in its Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project in preparation for opening a new 45-day public comment period on non-NEPA issues. The only thing missing on this pile of make-believe is the golden binding.
This supplemental application is Clean Line's third chance to cure defects in its prior two applications, such as the fact that Sec. 1222 requires that an eligible project:
(2) is consistent with--
(A) transmission needs identified, in a transmission expansion plan or otherwise, by the appropriate Transmission Organization (as defined in the Federal Power Act [16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.]), if any, or approved regional reliability organization;
So, what did Clean Line do when the DOE asked that it prove its project met the statutory requirements under Sec. 1222? Clean Line pretends to be a Regional Transmission Organization!
2.2 The proposed Project must be consistent with transmission needs identified, in a transmission expansion plan or otherwise, by the appropriate Transmission Organization (as defined in the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.) if any, or approved regional
In establishing this criterion, Congress sought to ensure that projects undertaken through Section 1222 are appropriately planned to meet identified transmission needs. The Plains & Eastern Project meets this requirement. On an interregional basis, numerous planning
initiatives and reports have identified the need for new West-East transmission lines to move
wind power from the central United States to load centers. On a regional basis, SPP and MISO (the two RTOs with which the Project interconnects) have also identified the need for new transmission facilities to accommodate wind generation. Further the Project has been planned and developed in a manner that is consistent with ISO/RTO planning assessments. Namely, in planning and developing the Project, Clean Line performed a series of studies and evaluations that are consistent with how the ISOs and RTOs generally identify needs and solutions for transmission system development. A final measure by which Clean Line meets the statutory requirement is its consistency with reliability standards issued by the approved regional reliability organizations (“RRO”) as envisioned under Section 1222. In light of these multiple areas of consistency, further detailed below, Project meets the criterion for consistency with planning and identified transmission needs.
(j) Required characteristics for a Regional Transmission Organization.
A Regional Transmission Organization must satisfy the following characteristics when it commences operation:
(1) Independence. The Regional Transmission Organization must be independent of any market participant. The Regional Transmission Organization must include, as part of its demonstration of independence, a demonstration that it meets the following:
(i) The Regional Transmission Organization, its employees, and any non-stakeholder directors must not have financial interests in any market participant.
(ii) The Regional Transmission Organization must have a decision making process that is independent of control by any market participant or class of participants.
(iii) The Regional Transmission Organization must have exclusive and independent authority under section 205 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824d), to propose rates, terms and conditions of transmission service provided over the facilities it operates.
Clean Line is not a Regional Transmission Organization.
Just one more thing to fight about in federal court? Any determination by DOE that Clean Line's project(s) qualify under Section 1222 is sort of like one of those Monopoly "Go To Jail" cards. Go to Federal Court. Go Directly to Federal Court. Do Not Pass "Go." Do not collect... any money at all.
Do you suppose Clean Line is also going to be on the hook for DOE's legal bills, or is the American Taxpayer going to end up funding this courtroom showdown?