ColumbiaGrid board tentatively approves agreement to comply with Order 1000

ColumbiaGrid’s board of directors on Oct. 9 voted to approve conditionally the third amendment and restatement of the planning and expansion functional agreement (PEFA) to “address, comply, and comport with FERC Order 1000,” according to board chair Shelly Richardson.

A special meeting of the board was called specifically to vote on the document in advance of the Oct. 11 deadline for FERC-jurisdictional entities to make their Order 1000 compliance filings.

Redlined versions of the PEFA show modest changes from prior versions, and include language referring to public policy, energy efficiency and non-discriminatory access to the transmission system. Language defining Order 1000, Order 1000 benefits, planning regions, projects, cost allocation, and other facets of the order comprise many of the larger changes to the PEFA’s text.

The revision also includes language that appears to make the document more flexible. For example, it removes references to a 10-year planning horizon to accommodate entities that may plan on different schedules, or to allow for evolution in planning horizons. The term “transmission needs” replaces “deficiencies,” indicative of the more proactive approach to transmission planning.

ColumbiaGrid itself is not FERC-jurisdictional and is not required to submit a compliance filing, Joe Lowell, ColumbiaGrid’s outside legal counsel, told TransmissionHub Oct. 9. However, Avista and Puget Sound Energy, the two FERC-jurisdictional members of ColumbiaGrid, will be making filings on Oct. 11, as will the Bonneville Power Administration, Lowell said.

Although the member organizations that worked on the revisions have signed and executed the revised document, they must still give their formal approval. To that end, the revised PEFA will be presented to the members at the Oct. 17 biannual members meeting. ColumbiaGrid’s by-laws require a two-thirds majority vote of the members to finalize the revised document.