Wanted: cash for new lines

Analysts, utilities and potential buyers in the US have been waiting for a free market to develop in transmission assets, just as it did in generation assets in the 1990s. But even though the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) launched its reform of the US transmission sector three years ago, companies – with a few notable exceptions – are still waiting.

Throughout the merchant energy boom of the late 1990s, transmission lines remained largely untouched. Most transmission assets rema