ENERGYWIRE – FERC affirms grid rule as it opens inquiry into gas pipelines

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.

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