Building Electric Transmission Lines: A Review of Recent Transmission Projects

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The first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) recommended that the Department of Energy (DOE) conduct a national review of transmission plans and assess barriers and incentives to their implementation. DOE tasked Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to prepare two reports to support the agency’s response to this recommendation. The companion report to this one reviews regional transmission plans and transmission planning processes.

This report reviews recent transmission projects that provide examples of factors affecting project implementation that arise outside of regional transmission planning. We organize these factors under four broad headings: (1) issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) by state authorities; (2) routing, siting, and permitting of a transmission line, often involving preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by a federal or state agency; (3) public and stakeholder sentiment and involvement, especially in the form of organized action, which surrounds and directly impacts both of the first two factors; and (4) economic or commercial factors that affect the need for and/or financial viability of projects, which underlies and is affected by all three of the preceding factors.

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