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Kansas Senators Are Demanding Answers for Rule Reversal On Kansas High Energy Prices

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By the Office of U.S. Senator Roger Marshall

 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. and Jerry Moran (R-KS) wrote a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) urging the commission to adjust their electricity transmission costs that are disproportionately hurting Kansas consumers. 

Currently, Kansans are paying an absurd amount to transport wind energy generated in Kansas to other states. In fact, Kansans are paying for 67% of the transmission costs for the energy but only need to use about 30% of it.

Last October, the FERC issued a ruling that would have fixed this unfair cost allocation but recently reversed that decision. In the letter, the senators call on the FERC to immediately reinstate the original ruling and ensure Kansas energy consumers are not subsidizing neighboring states energy usage. 

“Kansas ratepayers are being penalized by bureaucrats in Washington for providing critical energy resources across the country,” Senator Marshall said. “At a time when Kansans are paying more by double digits for just about everything due to inflation, FERC’s recent waiver reversal just rubs salt in the wound for Kansas consumers. The current framework is unfair; Kansans should not have to subsidize energy costs for neighboring states, it’s that simple.” 

“Kansas is home to an abundance of energy production, but families and businesses have been paying inflated transmission costs as a result of FERC procedure,” Senator Moran said“It is FERC’s statutory obligation to make sure costs are allocated in a manner that is roughly commensurate with the benefits received. I urge the commission to work with stakeholders to create a reasonable cost allocation plan that does not overburden Kansas ratepayers.”

 

Highlights from the letter include:

“I write to urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reinstate its order accepting the Southwest Power Pool, Inc.’s (SPP) tariff filing that was issued in this proceeding on October 28, 2022… SPP’s filing created a process to resolve the unreasonable allocation of costs for transmission facilities in geographic portions of the SPP region that have experienced rapid expansion of new wind generation resources,” the Senators wrote.  

“FERC’s recent reversal of its order accepting SPP’s filing means that Kansans alone will continue to pay unreasonably high transmission rates for facilities that benefit the entire SPP region,” the Senators continued. 

“In recent years, Kansas has been in the top five states in the country in terms of both the level of wind energy supplying electricity generation in Kansas and the annual growth of wind capacity in Kansas. However, as discussed below, the overwhelming majority of the wind generation in the Sunflower Zone is not affiliated with any customer in the Zone and is instead exported to the SPP region,” the Senators said.

“As you are also aware, the excessive level of transmission costs allocated to the Sunflower Zone as a result of the influx of wind generation in the State of Kansas is a consequence of SPP’s “Highway/Byway” (HWBW) cost allocation methodology. Under the HWBW methodology, the costs for reliability and economic upgrades that are identified in SPP’s transmission planning process are allocated among individual SPP Zones and the entire SPP region based on the voltage level and location of transmission facilities,” the Senators wrote.

You may click HERE to read the full letter.