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Request for Information on Permitting of Transmission Lines: Federal Register Notice Volume 77, No. 38 - Feb. 27, 2012

The Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability requested information on questions related to permitting of transmission lines. Infrastructure projects — such as high voltage, long distance, electric transmission facilities — often involve multiple Federal, State, local and Tribal authorizations and are subject to a wide array of processes and procedural requirements in order to obtain all necessary permits and other authorizations. Delays in securing required statutory reviews, permits, and consultations can threaten the completion projects of national and regional significance.

As our nation moves towards cleaner, more diverse fuel sources and responds to state renewable energy standards, a number of developers are looking to build electric generators where the fuel is most abundant, which is often far from electric customers, thereby requiring long transmission lines. At least three problems may arise when trying to develop this type of infrastructure: (1) non-synchronous evaluations by all governmental entities with jurisdiction; (2) uncertainty about whether all necessary permits and approvals will be received; and (3) significantly different development times for generation and transmission. This Request for Information focused on making the development times for generation and transmission to be more commensurate with one another.

Public comments received in response to this Request for Information are available for review.