New Boosts for Transmission

According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), expanding electric transmission capacity in the United States is essential to meet growing demand for electricity, ensure reliable and resilient electric service, and deliver new low-cost clean energy to customers when and where they need it. However, the DOE noted, over the past decade, transmission lines in the United States have been built at half the rate of the previous three decades, often due to permitting and financing challenges.

To address some of these challenges, the White House announced two initiatives:

– a final transmission permitting reform rule (called CITAP), and

– a commitment for up to $331 million aimed at adding more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of additional grid capacity throughout the Western United States.


The DOE’s final rule to establish the Coordinated Interagency Transmission Authorizations and Permits (CITAP) Program is designed to significantly improve Federal environmental reviews and permitting processes for qualifying transmission projects. Under CITAP, DOE will coordinate a Federal integrated interagency process to consolidate Federal environmental reviews and authorizations within a standard two-year schedule, while ensuring meaningful engagement with Tribes, local communities, and other stakeholders.

This final rule, initiated and completed in under a year, implements a May 2023 interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expedite the siting, permitting, and construction of electric transmission infrastructure in the United States.

“In order to reach our clean energy and climate goals, we’ve got to build out transmission as fast as possible to get clean power from where it’s produced to where it’s needed,” said John Podesta, senior advisor to the President for International Climate Policy.

“As the Federal government’s largest land manager, the Department of the Interior is working to review, approve and connect clean energy projects on hundreds of miles across the American West,” said Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior. “As we continue to surpass our clean energy goals, we are committed to working with our interagency partners to improve permitting efficiency for transmission projects, and ensuring that states, Tribes, local leaders and communities have a seat at the table as we consider proposals.”

DOE’s CITAP rule will significantly improve Federal environmental reviews and permitting processes for qualifying onshore electric transmission facilities, while ensuring meaningful engagement with Tribes, states, local communities, and other stakeholders. Consistent with the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, CITAP better coordinates Federal permitting processes and

establishes a two-year deadline for completion of Federal authorizations and permits for electric transmission.

The CITAP program helps transmission developers navigating the Federal review process, by providing:

– Improved Permitting Review with Two-Year Timelines

– Sustained Integrity in Environmental Review Process

– Transparent Transmission Permitting

New Transmission

The second DOE announcement was for the availability of up to $331 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support a new transmission line from Idaho to Nevada. With construction anticipated to start in 2025, the proposed, 285-mile line will bring more than 2,000 MW of needed transmission capacity to the region and create over 300 jobs.

The line will also”

– help increase grid resilience by providing an alternate route to deliver power supplies during wildfires or other system disruptions, and

– upgrade a key substation in Nevada, unlocking an additional 1,000 MW of capacity along the existing One Nevada Line, a major transmission corridor in Southern Nevada.


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