Transmission Siting in the Western United States : Overview and Recommendations

  • Holtkamp J
  • Llp H
  • Davidson M
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Although future transmission development is necessary, development is hindered by federal, state, and local regulations. Making the process even more difficult, siting procedures vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction which makes multi-state siting a challenge. The author examines the current practices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and ends with a proposal to correct the situation. The author recommends a best practices approach to solving this dilemma. One reason change is necessary is the shift to renewable energy; renewable energy generation is bound by its location, such as a dam, while the demand for this energy is located elsewhere, for example in a city. The author lists several other issues including NIMBY syndrome, conflicting interests, conflicting requirements, environmental considerations, and a lack of coordination as far as timelines, renewable energy and transmission siting, and timing of need determination. The author breaks down the issues state by state and delves deeply into the legal requirements. Finally, the author suggests a centralized siting agency, a new way of determining need, and a regular assessment of need for siting projects.

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  • James A Holtkamp

  • Hart Llp

  • Mark A Davidson

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