Friday, January 20, 2012

States working on agreement to spur decisions on location of new electrical transmission lines

State and federal leaders are drafting an agreement that would "create regionally uniform standards for transmitting electricity" and hope to have it ready for legislative review next year. reports Jim Malewitz of Stateline. Stakeholders' competing interests make transmission line siting across state lines difficult, making developers reluctant to invest.

An agreement would solve the problem of varying state transmission rules that often prevent energy from being sent where it's most needed, a process that will touch many rural residents where lines are proposed. In October, a federal interagency team chose seven transmission siting pilot projects to cross 12 states that it hopes to expedite.

Previous attempts at a compact have largely failed, and a successful one would "be a boon" for states with undeveloped renewable energy generating capacity, Stateline reports. Crady deGolian of the National Center for Interstate Compacts said he expects legislatures in Western and Midwestern states to be most interested in the legal contract. (Read more)

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