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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has directed regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) to report on the status of their efforts to improve the processing of their interconnection queues.

The request follows a Dec. 11, 2007, technical conference on interconnection queue practices, at which participants complained of transmission providers' delays in processing interconnection queues, particularly in RTO and ISO regions that are attracting significant new entry into generation markets, particularly in regions where the industry is working to meet state renewable portfolio standards.

FERC is giving the RTOs and ISOs 30 days from the date of the order, issued on March 20, to provide information on a variety of matters, including the current size of their queues, the current timeframes for processing those requests and the nature and extent of any problems that have led to any backlogs. Their reports also must explain the status of stakeholder discussions on queue reform and provide a schedule for selecting and implementing any necessary reforms, including a target date for filing any necessary tariff amendments or waivers.

To help them gather that information, FERC is offering guidance that breaks down the reforms into those that can be implemented quickly and without any tariff revisions, and those that require tariff changes.

The FERC guidance document states that reforms made without tariff changes could include increasing the staff available to work on interconnection studies; adopting more efficient modeling for feasibility studies or system impact studies; or performing a single system impact study for a cluster of interconnection requests.

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