President Bush has urged Congress to pass legislation that will make grid reliability standards mandatory rather than voluntary, adding that federal authorities should have the power to site new transmission lines.

The President also said that the US needs “to repeal the outdated rules that discourage investment in new power infrastructure.”

The comments come as FERC reportedly considers revising rules covering imbalance penalties to ease concerns of the wind industry. Currently, supply imbalances on transmission lines from intermittent electricity generators like wind and solar are charged under FERC Order 888 tariffs. The wind industry argues that 888 has extremely narrow range for deviation between predicted and actual supply and that the penalties imposed for scheduling deviations are significant compared to price of wind energy.

Since wind is less reliable there must be compensation for the demand/supply gap when significant quantities of wind power is introduced to the grid. FERC is taking steps to address the issue, possibly adopting similar measures to those proposed by the California ISO and an industry working group using hour-ahead forecasts.

FERC has already issued a notice of proposed rulemaking this year, setting out uniform national technical standards for interconnecting wind generators to the transmission system.