in News Departments > Policy Watch
print the content item

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released its first "National Transmission Congestion Study," since the Energy Policy Act of 2005 required the study to be released one year later, and after that every 3 years. The study shows the areas throughout the country that are experiencing transmission congestion problems, which is when the flow of electricity is restricted because of capacity limits.

According to the DOE, the study will open up discussion on how these constraints can be alleviated. It identifies three types of areas that need further attention, including "critical congestion areas," such as Southern California and the Mid-Atlantic region; less critical "congestion areas of concern"; and "conditional congestion areas," which are locations that could become acutely congested in the future if new electric generation facilities were built.

"The DOE study underscores the fact that the health of the transmission system is not just wind energy's issue - it's a crucial issue for both consumers and other electricity sources, all of whom rely on the grid," says Mike Jacobs, American Wind Energy Association's deputy policy director.

Based on the research in the study, Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman may select and designate geographic areas as "national interest electric transmission corridors" to help facilitate the construction of new transmission capacity. Applicants for projects proposed within designated corridors that are not acted upon by state siting authorities within one year may request the Federal Agency Regulatory Commision to exercise federal "backstop" siting authority.

IowaDeptEconDevel_id1863

Helukabel_id1908
Latest Top Stories

Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.


Senate Committee Passes Bill With Two-Year PTC Extension

The Senate Finance Committee has voted on a tax extenders package, which includes both the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit, and sent it to the floor.


Five Common Gearbox Failures And How To Identify Them

Wind turbine gearbox failures are a major source of unplanned maintenance costs. An expert explains the most frequent failure modes and offers prevention tips.

JLG_id1900
WomenofWind_id
UEA_id1896
Acciona_id1907
AWEA_id1886
bonfiglioli_id1913