The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) highlighted smart grid technologies in its strategic plan for fiscal years 2009-2014 (the “Strategic Plan”). FERC found that our nation could potentially reduce peak electricity demand by up to 20% through the deployment of new technologies, including smart grid and demand response technologies.

In the Strategic Plan, FERC is establishing the use of smart grid technologies in 50% of all new transmission projects by 2014. This goal will be met through the (i) increased the development of smart grid standards and protocols (through a process coordinated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology) and (ii) the implementation of rate treatment policies favorable to smart grid technologies in the interim period between development and approval of smart grid standards. FERC has set the following Annual Performance Targets:

·         FY2010: Assessment of transmission planning process best practices, including the potential for collaborative decision making, and issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as appropriate

·         FY 2011: As appropriate, issue Final Rule on transmission planning process best practices

·         FY 2012: Implement Final Rule as appropriate

·         FY 2013: Monitor implementation and performance

·         FY 2014: Evaluate performance and seek changes as necessary