FERC affirms grid rule as it opens inquiry into gas pipelines

By Zach Bright | 03/22/2024 07:16 AM EDT

Federal energy regulators kept key parts of a 2023 order designed to connect more clean energy resources to the grid.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Willie Phillips testifies during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.

Willie Phillips, chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, speaks last year on Capitol Hill. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission upheld the central elements of a grid rule Thursday designed to quicken the addition of wind and solar power to the grid while also launching a probe into pipeline practices.

FERC said electric utilities and power line owners will face stricter deadlines for interconnection requests and could be fined for missing them. The commission affirmed a rule it finalized last July, after facing legal action from large power companies who own much of the country’s transmission lines that wanted FERC to rescind penalties.

The new system is aimed at helping unclog what Chair Willie Phillips called the “unacceptable” backlog of energy resources waiting to get connected to the grid.


“This rule isn’t the end of our work on interconnection, but it’s a major step forward,” Commissioner Allison Clements said Thursday.