WIRES Newsletter - Q2/Summer 2021
Message from our Executive Director
Transmission continues to be the hot topic this summer. In Q2 WIRES educated policymakers and regulators on the value and importance of transmission as a means of enhancing the economic recovery from the pandemic through the ongoing promotion of our recent “Repowering America: Transmission investment for economic stimulus and climate change” report prepared by London Economics International. The message has clearly taken hold.

Congress is looking to advance transmission through several targeted provisions of the pending Infrastructure bill. At the same time, FERC put transmission front and center at its July meeting by initiating an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to examine issues relating to transmission planning, cost allocation, and interconnection. That preliminary step by FERC will play out in the months and years ahead and has the potential to reshape key areas of various transmission processes. WIRES looks forward to providing its expertise on a range of issues teed up in the ANOPR.

But much more can, and should, be done right now. FERC must send a strong and unambiguous opening message about the importance of transmission investment by providing adequate and stable rates of return on transmission and spurring badly needed investment in transmission through its incentives policy, including continuation of the RTO participation incentive.
FERC Developments
Technical Conferences

FERC has been actively soliciting input on transmission issues and hosting a series of technical conferences. WIRES and a number of our members were invited to participate in several of these events, including the April 29th conference on Electrification and the Grid of the Future.

Larry spoke on Panel 2: Infrastructure Requirements of Electrification, and shared findings from our 2019 Brattle Group Report, The Coming Electrification of the N.A. Economy.

A link to Larry’s pre-conference remarks and submitted materials can be found here.


WIRES submitted a number of comments and filings during the second quarter, including:

WIRES board member, David Quier, Vice President of Transmission and Substations, PPL Corporation will be speaking on the Sept. 10 FERC Workshop on Shared Savings Incentives for Transmission Technologies on the Technical and Reliability Issues panel.

On June 11th WIRES, EEI and IBEW jointly submitted a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce expressing concern that FERC’s proposed NOPR on eliminating the RTO Participation Adder “runs counter to the nation’s interest in a robust energy grid.”

Summer Member Meeting
July 29, 2021
We were delighted to welcome FERC Commissioner Mark Christie as the keynote speaker at our Summer Member Meeting. Thank you to Commissioner Christie and all our distinguished panelists and moderators for the informative transmission discussions.

A link to the recording of the meeting is now available on our website.

Panel 1: Tackling Economic Recovery, Jobs & Climate Change Through Transmission Investment
Moderated by Brian Eckhouse, Reporter, Bloomberg News
  • Aaron Bloom, Chair, System Planning Working Group, Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG)
  • Julia Frayer, Managing Director, LEI
  • Brennen Cain, Policy Advisor, BlueGreen Alliance

Panel 2: Federal/State Coordination and Collaboration
Moderated by Jodi Moskowitz, Deputy General Counsel & RTO Strategy Officer, PSEG & WIRES Secretary
  • Suzanne Glatz, Director, Strategic Initiatives & Interregional Planning, PJM Interconnection
  • Jennifer Murphy, Director of Energy Policy and Senior Counsel, NARUC
  • Abe Silverman, General Counsel, NJBPU
2021 WIRES Member Meetings
Mark Your Calendar for our Fall Meeting on Oct. 27-28, 2021
At this juncture we are planning our Fall Member Meeting as an in-person event on Oct. 27-28, 2021 in Washington DC at the historic Willard InterContinental hotel. We are excited to welcome our keynote speaker FERC Commissioner Allison Clements.

We look forward to gathering once again with our members and industry colleagues. Stay tuned for more information on schedule, accommodations, and protocols.
Q2 Member Webinar Series
WIRES members benefit from regular conversations with key regulators, legislators and transmission industry thought leaders. Our popular Member Webinar Series continued into Q2 featuring FERC’s General Counsel, Matt Christiansen, and Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA-05)
Members who would like to receive recordings of these sessions, please contact Andrew Brackbill at ABrackbill@kellencompany.com
Upcoming Webinar
September 2021 Webinar – Janet Sena, Senior VP External Affairs at NERC
This session will be open to the public.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Janet Sena, Senior VP of Policy and External Affairs at NERC, will address attendees about the topic of reliability and NERC’s recent and upcoming work to improve grid reliability.
Industry Visibility
In April the Energy Bar Association (EBA) aired a podcast interview featuring Larry as part its series The Energy Exchange. Listen to Larry’s compelling conversation with EBA President Mosby Perrow on his 20 year-career at FERC and his more recent work at WIRES.

On June 15th Larry was a speaker on the Canadian Embassy’s webinar, “Cross Border Partnerships for a Cleaner and More Resilient Energy Future.”

On June 17th Larry offered comments as part of the introduction to Grid North Partners’ Finding True North Webinar.

On August 17th Larry moderated a webinar discussion hosted by the Midwest Governors Association on the FERC ANOPR that explored what potential actions could mean for the Midwest and the electric grid. Speakers included:
  • Nina Plaushin, Vice President, Regulatory & Federal Affairs, ITC
  • Dan Scripps, Chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission
  • Eric Vandenberg, Deputy Director, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, FERC
  • Moderator – Larry Gasteiger, Executive Director, WIRES
Media Coverage
The media’s interest in transmission issues continued unabated in the second quarter, fueled by the Biden administrations’ climate goals and supporting actions, FERC’s policy measures, and congressional efforts on an infrastructure bill. The May release of WIRES new report by London Economics Int’l, “Repowering America: Transmission Investment for Economic Stimulus and Climate Change”, resulted in a number of stories, including a write up in the Financial Times.
Comments and discussions at our Spring and Summer meetings prompted broad coverage in the policy and transmission press. Larry continues to be sought out for commentary on a host of transmission and policy issues, and WIRES recent reports are valued resources that are frequently cited. 
Sharing a few highlights of the quarter’s earned media below. For a complete listening of earned media, visit the WIRES In the News page

WIRES is an international, non-profit trade association of investor-, publicly-, and cooperatively owned transmission providers, transmission customers, regional grid managers, and equipment and service companies. WIRES promotes investment in electric transmission and progressive state and federal policies that advance energy markets, economic efficiency, and consumer and environmental benefits through development of electric power infrastructure. For more information, visit www.wiresgroup.com.