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Statement: February 19, 2009 Print this page
Docket Nos.: ER09-432-000 and ER09-433-000

Acting Chairman Wellinghoff's statement on Chinook Power Transmission, LLC and Zephyr Power Transmission, LLC

"With heightened concerns about global warming and our country's dependence on foreign oil, the need to accelerate the integration of clean, reliable, domestic energy sources into our country's energy portfolio is clear.

Thus we must do more to unlock the potential of our country's location-constrained renewable energy resources. This order is one of the most significant steps this Commission has taken toward that goal.

This order builds on the Commission's previous recognition that merchant transmission projects can play a seminal role in expanding competitive generation alternatives. Today we adopt a more flexible approach to secure financing that should help overcome challenges facing merchant transmission projects.

Renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and geothermal are located in economically developable quantities at dispersed sites remote from load centers. As staff observed in their presentation, this order recognizes that merchant transmission projects may be particularly well suited to addressing the unique challenges associated with such location-constrained resources.

Consumers will benefit from this evolution of the Commission's policy on merchant transmission, because it will promote the expansion of our transmission grid's capacity and thereby enhance the development of our country's clean renewable energy potential.

I want to finally add that this line will go through and terminate in Nevada, my home state. I would like to thank our staff for its hard work on this order."

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Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff

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Updated: June 28, 2010