Transmission grid modernization pilot projects funded in U.S.


Nancy Sutley,
Chair, Council on
Environmental Quality
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 13, 2011 – The permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines in the United States is to be accelerated, in a bid to create thousands of jobs while transforming the nation’s electric system into a modern, 21st century grid.

The projects will serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting and increased cooperation at the federal, state, and tribal levels. Project developers expect that the streamlined projects will increase grid capacity and create thousands of jobs in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

“The President wants to get America working again,” said Nancy Sutley, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. “Building a smarter electric grid will create thousands of American jobs and accelerate the growth of domestic clean energy industries translating into more energy choices and cost savings for American consumers, and a more secure energy future for our country.”

In October 2009, nine federal entities including, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Electric Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding increasing their coordination to expedite and simplify building of transmission lines on federal lands.
Leveraging this collaboration, the administration’s recently formed Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT), comprised of the same nine agencies, will accelerate deployment of the seven transmission facilities.

These are:

  • Boardman-Hemingway line, a new 500 kV transmission line proposed by Idaho Power to create an approximately 300 mile long, single circuit line from a proposed substation near Boardman, Oregon to the Hemingway Substation near Melba, Idaho.
  • Gateway West Project to bring new transmission across Wyoming and Idaho via approximately 1,150 miles of new HV lines between the Windstar Substation near Glenrock, Wyoming and the Hemingway Substation near Melba, Idaho.
  • Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse line, a double circuit capable 345 kV transmission line that will run between new substations near Hampton and north of Pine Island, Minnesota, and will continue on to cross the Mississippi River near Alma, Wisconsin. A single circuit 345 kV line will be built in Wisconsin to a new substation in the La Crosse area. Two 161 kV lines will be built between the new substation near Pine Island and existing substations northwest and east of Rochester.
  • The Cascade Crossing line, proposed by Portland General Electric, includes approximately 210 miles of 500 kV transmission line from Boardman to Salem, Oregon for the construction of four new substations, expansion of three existing substations, and upgrades to the existing transmission systems near Salem.
  • SunZia Transmission, LLC plans to construct and operate up to two 500 kV transmission lines originating at a new substation in Lincoln County in the vicinity of Ancho, New Mexico, and terminating at the Pinal Central Substation in Pinal County near Coolidge, Arizona.
  • Susquehanna to Roseland line proposed by PPL Electric Utilities and Public Service Electric and Gas Company includes an approximately 145 mile long 500 kV transmission line from the Susquehanna Substation in Pennsylvania to the Roseland Substation in New Jersey, and several 500 – 230 kV substations in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  • Transwest Express to stand-up transmission from Wyoming to Utah and Nevada, comprising a more than 700 mile, 600 kV transmission line.