NASEO Board Resolution and FERC Comments Stress Importance of State Energy Offices in Transmission Policy and Planning

Source: NASEO

The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in 2022 provided increased funding and support to State Energy Offices to further their engagement in transmission policy and planning. State Energy Offices play a central role in long-term state energy planning, which encompasses considerations of resilience and reliability, workforce development, clean energy and environmental goals, and stakeholder and community engagement. State Energy Offices understand both the technical innovations to make existing transmission lines more efficient as well as the importance and value of stakeholder processes as new transmission lines will have to be built to enable a reliable and clean electricity grid. To support and highlight State Energy Offices’ efforts, the NASEO Board of Directors adopted a resolution encouraging the deployment of grid modernization technologies that enable demand flexibility and system resilience that benefits consumers and positively impacts transmission and distribution planning. The resolution further calls for regional and stakeholder coordination and encourages the U.S. Department of Energy to deliver neutral, expert data on the economic, environmental, equity, climate, and energy benefits to each state within the identified Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act-supported transmission opportunity areas. NASEO highlighted the importance of State Energy Offices in the implementation of many of the IIJA grid provisions and the State Energy Offices’ central planning function impacting transmission policy and planning also in its comments to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection, Docket No. RM21-17-000) issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). State Energy Offices’ policy development role for Governors enables them to have a longer-term vision of energy policy changes (e.g., electrification, increased renewable electricity standards) that would impact transmission projects and NASEO therefore encourages FERC to require a more extensive and formal effort on the part of the Regional Transmission Organizations, Independent System Operators and FERC to engage with the State Energy Offices.