ROSSLYN, Va., August 10, 2006-The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) should move soon to designate certain electrical transmission corridors as bottlenecks so they can be considered for federal siting permits by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said officials of NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, shortly after release of a study by DOE.
Bottlenecks on the electric transmission system decrease electric reliability and cost consumers billions of dollars per year. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required the Department of Energy to study congestion and identify bottlenecks, presently called National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors. On August 8, 2006, DOE released the National Electric Transmission Congestion Study, which categorizes congested areas, but it does not designate bottleneck corridors.
Transmission line projects must be in National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors to be considered for possible federal siting under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority. The designation of national corridors will reduce uncertainty by allowing the federal government to license facilities in the national interest in cases where states have not acted in a reasonable time. In one case, regulatory delays led to a 15-year schedule in getting an important transmission line built.
"DOE needs to quickly designate corridors to help ensure reliable and affordable electricity," said NEMA President Evan Gaddis.
NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its 430 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, Sao Paulo, and Mexico City.