Utility Dive: Justice Department, FTC urge FERC to expand competition for building new transmission, deny utility exclusivityPosted August 18, 2022
There is bipartisan support for transmission competition. The FTC voted 5-0 (no more than three Commissioners can be of the same political party. Trump’s DOJ also supported transmission competition. Four of the five FERC Commissioners recently defended competition in a concurrence.
WPR: Utilities set to spend more than $2B on new transmission lines in WisconsinPosted August 2, 2022
Manufacturers and customer groups are very concerned about MISO’s additional regulatory barriers to transmission competition and the unnecessary costs passed along to the ratepayers.
Four commissioners attached a concurrence that expresses concern “that existing processes may not adequately protect consumers with regard to the selection and construction of many transmission projects. This order has the negative consequence of expanding the scope of projects for which the transmission owner has less incentive to reduce cost and maximize benefits to the greatest extent possible.”
WEPCO and WPL coal-fired plants to run longer due to reliability and supply chain concernsPosted June 23, 2022
Given the amount of all the fossil fuel retirements in the region, plus the rising costs and supply chain issues, now is a good time to raise questions regarding the speed and cost of the massive utility capital spend in Wisconsin. We still need to address the problem of rate recovery for power plants that are about to be retired. The current total for all the unamortized balances in Wisconsin is over $2 billion.
Rate cases pending, plus interruptions are more likely this yearPosted April 28, 2022
WEPCO filed for a base rate case seeking an average 8.4% increase and industrial increases of 11-14% in 2023. WPSC filed for a rate case seeking an average 6.2% increase and industrial increases of 5-9%. In addition, rising natural gas prices and conditions in the regional market will have a significant impact on Wisconsin’s industries. WIEG is currently forming ad hoc intervention groups to mitigate the rate increases and advocate for favorable cost allocation and rate design for large customers.
Coalition efforts to block passage of monopoly construction legislationPosted March 15, 2022
WIEG helped build a coalition to defeat this anti-competition, anti-consumer legislation in the 2021-2022 session. Although the bills failed to advance out of committee, we need to keep this coalition together as utilities may try to revive the bill in 2023 or attempt to add this language to the 2023-2025 state budget. Please contact us to find out how you can be part of the growing coalition.