- Jul 23, 2019 5:00 pm GMT
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Federal regulators may not decide whether to refine current incentives for building out the nation's next-generation electric grid any time soon.
That was the message state utility officials received yesterday at a key energy conference in Indianapolis, where one former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pointed to the agency's backlog of major, long-pending issues already under review and the loss of one of the commission's most experienced members.
Former FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller, currently serving as executive vice president of the Edison Electric Institute, noted that his former colleague, Democratic Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, is slated to step down on Aug. 30.
Moeller, who served on FERC from 2006 to 2015, said whoever comes to the commission will have to get up to speed quickly and may not have the same background in issues like incentivizing transmission upgrades.
"The timing is something we ought to keep in context," Moeller said on a panel at the summer meetings of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
"How fast this moves is up to whoever is the chairman of the commission," he said, referring to FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee. "The chairman has a lot on his plate right now along with the other commissioners."
Grid upgrades may be in a bit of purgatory for the moment at a time when FERC is in transition and overloaded-- not a great look when upgraded infrastructure is despareately needed all over the T&D grid