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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued its first orders on the merits of filings submitted to comply with the requirements of Order No. 1000, the commission's July 2011 rule on electric transmission planning and cost allocation.

FERC 1000 requires public utility transmission providers to improve transmission planning processes, allocate costs for new transmission facilities to beneficiaries of those facilities and align transmission planning and cost allocation.

In the new orders, FERC concluded that PJM Interconnection and Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) have "largely complied" with the rule's requirements but directed them to clarify and refine their proposals in certain respects.

Among its findings, FERC conditionally accepted PJM's and MISO's regional cost allocation methods, concluded the filings partially comply with the provisions of FERC 1000 addressing transmission needs driven by public policy requirements, and found that PJM and MISO complied in part with the requirement to eliminate from their commission-jurisdictional tariffs and agreements provisions that establish a federal right of first refusal for an incumbent transmission provider.

With respect to the WestConnect's filings, FERC concluded that they partially comply with the requirements of the order. FERC offered guidance to public utility transmission providers in the region and directed further compliance filings that state that WestConnect has an obligation to identify transmission solutions more efficiently or cost-effectively meet transmission needs driven by reliability and/or economic considerations or by public policy requirements.

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