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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has largely affirmed its rule on open access transmission, order No. 890, issued earlier this year.

The order, "Promoting Undue Discrimination and Preference in Transmission Service," reformed the open access regulatory framework first set out in order Nos. 888 and 889 in 1996. The rule ensures that transmission service is provided on a nondiscriminatory, just and reasonable basis and helps provide the foundation for a competitive electric power market. In addition, order No. 890 provides for more effective regulation and transparency in the operation of the transmission grid.

FERC reaffirmed its rationale for issuing order No. 890 by reforming the terms and conditions of the pro forma open access transmission tariff, particularly in the calculation of available transfer capability (ATC), the planning of transmission facilities and the conditions of services offered by each transmission provider.

FERC said that based on the extensive record of this proceeding, it is convinced that the particular reforms adopted in order No. 890 are appropriate to satisfy the obligation to remedy undue discrimination.

In addressing issues raised on rehearing, FERC commended transmission providers "for the substantial resources dedicated to the development of transmission planning processes" in response to order No. 890.

The draft order affirms, and in some cases clarifies, FERC's position as stated in order No. 890 regarding the methodology for calculating ATC, implementation of open and coordinated transmission planning processes, standardization of energy and generation imbalance charges, implementation of conditional firm and planning redispatch options for long-term point-to-point customers, reform of rollover rights and rules regarding the designation and undesignation of network resources.

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