Heinrich, 12 Senate Democrats Request FERC Provide Smart-Grid Technology Deployment Incentives To Reduce Consumer Costs, Improve Transmission

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich


WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is leading 12 Senate Democrats in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in support of incentives that promote the use of smart-grid technologies that improve the capacity and efficiency of the existing transmission grid, often at a substantial savings to consumers.

“As the Commission finalizes new policies for electric transmission incentives, we urge you to incorporate performance-based incentives that promote the use of smart grid technologies that improve the capacity and efficiency of the existing transmission grid,” the senators wrote in a letter to FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee. “While some additional transmission infrastructure will be required to support the transition to a clean energy economy, in many cases there are more cost-effective technologies that can be deployed quickly to improve grid operation. We believe the final rule should provide targeted incentives for deployment of advanced grid-enhancing technologies that improve operations and lower costs for consumers.”

The senators continued, “We strongly believe FERC’s transmission policies must ensure that the full range of non-wires options are fairly considered as part of all proposed upgrades in transmission capacity. Among these options are commercial smart-grid technologies that can deliver more power over existing lines or reduce transmission congestion, including power flow control, dynamic line ratings, storage-as-transmission and topology optimization.”

Also signing the letter, led by Senator Heinrich, are U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Machin (D-W.Va.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

Read the full text of the letter here.