Electricity Transmission

The siting of interstate electricity transmission lines has long been a problem for both states and the federal government. With the expected growth in electricity demand—combined with the need to bring renewable energy to market and the necessity to enhance and secure the nation’s energy infrastructure—the need for added transmission capacity in the United States has never been more critical. Attendees learned more about a member-driven initiative aimed at improving the siting process through common applications, pre-determined timelines and coordinated publichearings during this session. This new compact will be ready for legislative introduction beginning in 2013. Subject matter experts discussed the need for the compact, the development process and specific areas covered by the new interstate agreement.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments encourages states to continue to evaluate the energy efficiency and demand reduction opportunities that can be achieved with electric utility grid modernization efforts, subject to the unique and specific circumstances that exist in their respective state.

One solution to the growing challenge of siting interstate transmission lines may be the formation of an interstate compact governing transmission line siting.   The Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted states advance congressional consent to create regional interstate compacts and CSG, through the National Center for Interstate Compacts, and with the assistance of a drafting team comprised of subject matter experts has developed model language for state consideration.  

In October 2012, the Obama administration passed an important milestone in siting 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects - three years ahead of the objectives laid out in federal law - to encourage the development of vast resources on public land. Constructing large amounts of expensive electric transmission lines and concerns over habitat impacts to endangered species pose potential hurdles for these and other large-scale renewable energy projects. 

The National Center for Interstate Compacts will unveil language for a compact intended to ease efforts among states to site interstate electricity transmission lines during a 2:30-4 p.m. session Dec. 2 at The Council of State Governments’ 2012 National Conference in Austin, Texas.

A new report issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) expresses significant electricity reliability concerns for California and Texas, which could potentially lead to blackout or brownout situations this summer if left unresolved.

On April 26, CSG held a webinar with policy experts from the Edison Electric Institute on addressing cybersecurity threats in the Smart Grid. EEI is the largest association of U.S. investor-owned utilities and its members provide roughly 70 percent of the nation’s electricity. The webinar’s presenters featured Chris Eisenbrey and Scott Aaronson who are policy experts that focus on Smart Grid issues and policy development.

Please join CSG for an upcoming on webinar on addressing cyber security threats in the Smart Grid. The webinar is schedule for April 26th at 2 PM Eastern and will feature policy experts from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) that will share how the utility industry is preparing to meet current and future cyber threats.

Please join CSG for an upcoming on webinar on addressing cyber security threats in the Smart Grid. The webinar is schedule for April 26th at 2 PM Eastern and will feature policy experts from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) that will share how the utility industry is preparing to meet current and future cyber threats.

Siting electric transmission lines across state borders has long been a challenge for the states, the federal government and utility transmission companies. Too often, the diverse interests of various stakeholders, combined with the absence of a mechanism capable of bringing different entities together, makes siting interstate electric transmission lines a difficult proposition.  The compact option model provides a compromise that allows state policymakers and federal officials to work collaboratively to site lines in a timeframe that would be beneficial to all parties. If implemented, a compact can provide states a durable tool that allows collaboration across state lines and partnerships with federal agencies to ensure stakeholders’ interests are met. 

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