FERC grants Order 1000 extension to group of southern and Midwest utilities

FERC on Sept. 6 granted a group of utilities in the south and Midwest a 120-day extension to submit their regional transmission planning and coordination proposals under Order 1000 and 1000-A (Docket No. RM10-23-000).

In an Aug. 17 filing, Southern Company Services, Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E/KU), and Ohio Valley Electric Cooperative requested extension because “recent and significant development of the transmission planning entities and owners within the collective footprint [were pursuing] the adoption of a single, greatly expanded regional planning process for purposes of the commission’s Order No. 1000 requirements.”

Southern Company Services filed as agent for its four electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power.

The companies’ filing explained that the expanded transmission planning region would also include “significant non-public utility transmission provider and owner participation,” according to the companies. The utilities that are also considering participating are the Associated Electric Cooperative, Dalton (Ga.) Utilities, Georgia Transmission, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, the South Mississippi Electric Power Association, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

“[T]he expanded, single planning region would cover all or part of twelve different states and would be one of the largest planning regions for purposes of the commission’s transmission planning requirements,” the companies said.

The companies explained that the extension would permit the “jurisdictional and non-public utility transmission providers further opportunity to deliberate on regional planning and cost allocation and potential expansion activities,” and that “additional time will allow for additional stakeholder meetings to give stakeholders more opportunity to review and respond to the resulting compliance proposals.”

The 120-day extension will allow them to continue to deliberate on the plan and move forward “with the numerous activities necessary to effectuate the potential expansion,” including expanded outreach to state regulators and coordination with stakeholders on a more consolidated basis over the footprint, the utilities said.

Under terms of FERC’s letter order, the utilities must file their regional transmission planning and coordination proposals under Order No. 1000 by Feb. 8, 2013. In additional, they are required to file status updates in informational filings on Nov. 2, and Jan. 8, 2013.

Southern Company Services, Inc. is a division of Southern Company (NYSE:SO).

LG&E/KU are owned by PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL).