Indiana Capitol Chronicle examines Indiana's elimination of competitive bidding in "right of first refusal" bill, quoting Trish Demeter's perspective on the importance of maintaining competitive processes for success transmission infrastructure development.
Indiana’s Senate Utilities Committee on Thursday narrowly passed a contentious bill that critics say would stifle competitive markets and add unnecessary costs to energy infrastructure projects. House Bill 1420 advanced 6-5 to the Senate, with bipartisan opposition, following hours of testimony.
“Incumbent” Indiana utility companies already have a “right of first refusal” to build, own, and operate new transmission lines in their service area. But the bill expands that to inter-regional transmission projects. This prevents new projects from being competitively bid on by other energy companies outside of that territory that would then retain an ownership stake.