On Nov. 18, 2019, power line developer Anbaric Development Partners, LLC (Anbaric) filed a complaint before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act against regional grid operator PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM), claiming that PJM’s transmission interconnection procedures in Sections 36.1.03 and 232 of the PJM Open Access Transmission Tariff wrongly bar transmission projects serving planned Atlantic offshore wind farms from hooking up with the grid.
On June 18, 2020, FERC denied the complaint and determined that Anbaric did not establish that PJM’s existing tariff is unjust, unreasonable, and unduly discriminatory. However, FERC announced that it would hold a technical conference on Oct. 27, 2020, to discuss whether existing FERC transmission, interconnection, and merchant transmission facility frameworks in RTOs/ISOs can accommodate anticipated growth in offshore wind generation in an efficient and effective manner that safeguards open access transmission principles and to consider possible changes or improvements to the current framework should they be needed to accommodate such growth.
The order reflects FERC’s awareness of the growing interest in developing offshore wind projects and recognizes that a key element to gaining access to offshore wind is the construction of and access to transmission to bring wind-generated electricity onshore to the grid. However, issues involving open access, financing, and jurisdiction still need to be addressed and defined to facilitate offshore wind development.