ROFR – Right of First Refusal Legislation
ATC’s Right-of-First-Refusal (ROFR) legislation keeps the decisions about who builds Wisconsin’s power grid within the state of Wisconsin. It ensures that Wisconsin-based utilities will continue to build, operate and maintain the grid – not outside developers. ROFR maintains local and state control of the grid and keeps costs down for Wisconsin energy consumers.
Passing Wisconsin legislation in November 2023 is paramount to the safety, reliability, development and cost of the state’s electric grid. Here are the advantages of this legislation:
Wisconsin Utilities Build The Grid Cheaper and Faster
Wisconsin grid companies have a record of building transmission projects on time and under budget. In addition, Wisconsin energy consumers receive a unique cost benefit when local grid companies build large transmission projects: more overall operation and maintenance costs are shared across the Midwest region. This cost advantage is only available to Wisconsin energy consumers when local grid companies build, operate and maintain the project. Allowing out-of-state entities to build these projects will raise rates for Wisconsin energy consumers.
- Competitive bidding for project construction is maintained.
- Wisconsin consumers pay less because local grid operators can share overall O&M costs across the Midwest region.
- The state process for approving large projects stays in place, cutting the time and money spent on the project.
- Wisconsin gives up local control over who builds out the grid.
- O&M costs for Wisconsin energy consumers increase because out-of-state entities cannot provide same cost-sharing benefit provided by local grid companies.
- Projects take more time to be built and put in service, sometimes as much as two years more, because of the inefficiency of the federal process.
Maintain Local and State Control Of Wisconsin's Grid
With ROFR, the Wisconsin power grid will continue to be built, operated and maintained by local grid companies who are experts in the business, competitively bid out the work and are closely regulated by the state. The Wisconsin legislature put this model into place more than 20 years ago, and it has resulted in a safe, reliable and robust grid in Wisconsin that provides outstanding value to energy consumers.
- The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin retains control and oversight over the grid and makes decisions with energy consumers in mind.
- The safe and reliable grid service provided by local Wisconsin grid companies is maintained.
- Wisconsin energy consumers pay lower prices.
- Wisconsin gives up authority over who builds out the grid.
- Wisconsin has no choice but to accept whoever wins the bid for a project, whether that entity has a track record of competence or has any ties to the state.
- The overall reliability and safety of the grid is at greater risk.
- Wisconsin energy consumers pay more.
ROFR Keeps Wisconsin's Grid Safe and Reliable
Wisconsin grid companies have a record of safety and reliability that is the envy of states across the country. We live and work in the communities we serve. We are completely focused on building, operating and maintaining the Wisconsin grid and we are experts at what we do. Failure to pass ROFR legislation puts all of this success at risk. Allowing out-of-state entities (who are often nothing more than hedge funds) to build grid projects in Wisconsin will lengthen the time for projects to get built, raise costs for energy consumers and set the stage for making the grid less safe and reliable.
- The grid is safely and reliably operated by people who are experts concerning Wisconsin’s grid.
- Local companies are in-state and available when weather events impact the grid.
- Wisconsin energy consumers maintain safe and reliable access to all forms of generation.
- Wisconsin consumers pay more for maintaining the grid.
- Projects take longer to be built.
- Out-state-entities with no connection to Wisconsin make operational decisions about the grid.
- Adding more grid developers exposes the Wisconsin grid to more safety and reliability risk.
ROFR Strengthens Wisconsin's Model For Grid Success
In 1999, the legislature established a new model for grid development in Wisconsin. The law created ATC as a standalone company dedicated to building out the grid in Wisconsin. The model has been a remarkable success. Wisconsin was transformed from being one of the weakest grids in the Midwest to one of the safest and most reliable. Since inception, ATC has consistently planned and energized projects on time and under budget, providing more than $220 million in cost savings for energy consumers. Local ownership, close state regulatory oversight and a holistic focus on the business of building, operating and maintaining the grid are what has made the Wisconsin model so successful. Without ROFR, Wisconsin stands to lose the benefits energy consumers have relied on for more than 20 years.
- The Wisconsin model for grid development keeps working for energy consumers.
- Local ownership, operation and regulation of the grid stays in place.
- Wisconsin saves the model that has produced best-in-class safety and reliability for energy consumers.
- The Wisconsin grid reverts to the risk of becoming fragmented and underdeveloped.
- Out-of-state hedge funds and other developers get to make decisions about how the grid is built, operated and maintained.
- Wisconsin loses regulatory control over who builds out the grid.