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Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability


Electric Transmission Congestion Studies and Designation of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors

This website is the online center for public information and involvement in matters related to studies of electric transmission congestion and the possible designation of geographic areas as National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors. Authorities and requirements pertaining to such studies and corridors were established in section 1221 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

The Federal Power Act, as modified by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to publish a study of electric transmission congestion for public comment every three years. Two such studies have been published, one in 2006 and a second in 2009. A third study is due in 2012. Two National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors were designated in 2007, but they were invalidated by a federal appeals court in 2011.

In previous years, as authorized by law, DOE has delegated certain authorities on other electricity-related subjects to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In recent months, FERC and others have proposed that DOE should delegate to FERC its authorities related to the conduct of congestion studies and the designation of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors. The rationale for this delegation, as seen by FERC, is presented in two documents prepared by FERC staff, Transmission Siting Narrative, and Transmission Siting Narrative Outline. The decision as to whether to delegate these authorities, and whether to attach specific conditions to a delegation, is solely within the discretion of the Secretary of Energy.

To enable the Secretary to make a more informed decision, DOE seeks comments from interested persons on the two FERC documents, including the question of whether a delegation should be subject to specific conditions. DOE and FERC wish to be able to resolve the delegation question within a few weeks, so as to enable DOE or FERC to initiate plans for conducting the 2012 Congestion Study. Further, if DOE decides to delegate these authorities, FERC proposes to initiate a rulemaking that would specify its process for conducting Congestion Studies and the possible designation of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors. If, on the other hand, DOE were not to delegate these authorities, it would wish to initiate a proceeding of its own to clarify these questions.

PDF Transmission Siting Narrative (37 KB)
PDF Transmission Siting Narrative Outline (29 KB)

The Department requests that persons wishing to comment on these matters do so by 5 p.m. EDT, September 9, 2011. After September 9, DOE will give careful consideration to all comments received, and the Department expects that the Secretary will announce his decision within a few weeks.

Comments by email should be sent to congestion09@anl.gov.

Alternatively, if you wish to submit comments by conventional mail, please send them to:

   Mr. David H. Meyer
   Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE-20)
   U.S. Department of Energy
   1000 Independence Avenue SW
   Washington DC 20585

Please note: Comments delivered by conventional mail are subject to security screening and may be delivered too late to receive detailed consideration.

Public comment documents submitted for the proposed delegation of authorities to FERC are available for online browsing or downloading.

For More Information or Assistance

Please explore this Web site for further information. You may also sign up for automated updates via email at this Web site. In addition, you may contact the Webmaster at congestion09@anl.gov.

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