Documents filed under Transmission
Following severe energy shortages in Texas this winter, Texas Governor Abbott drafted this July 6th letter to the PUCT (Public Commission of Texas) calling for immediate action to improve the reliability of the state's electric system. Emphasis in Abbott's letter was on incentivizing new and existing generation for reliability purposes (natural gas, coal, and nuclear) and requiring intermittent resources including wind and solar to pay the price when they fail to deliver. The full three-member PUCT was recently appointed by the Governor. Details about the letter and the actual content of the letter can be accessed from this page.
This civil suit filed in US District Court against the United State Fish and Wildlife Service challenges the permit granted Nebraska Public Power District to construct the R-Project Transmission Line slated to go through the Sandhills. The petition, which can be downloaded from this page, asserts that the government agency failed to properly assess the environmental impacts of the transmission line, particularly with regard to the Whooping Crane and the American Burying Beetle. The R-Project is a 225-mile transmission line.
This important decision by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District in California found that the Department of Energy failed to follow NEPA when it issued a permit to construct a transmission line that crossed over from Mexico into the United States. The Court order that since the U.S. portion of the Line and the Mexican portion of the Line were literally "two links of a single chain" connecting the Substation to the ESJ Wind Farm, the DOE was required to consider the impacts of the project on Mexico. Portions of the decision are shown below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the document link on this page.
Collisions and electrocutions at power lines are thought to kill large numbers of birds in the United States annually. However, existing estimates of mortality are either speculative (for electrocution) or based on extrapolation of results from one study to all U.S. power lines (for collision). This paper attempts to quantify bird mortality. The abstract is posted below. The full paper can be accessed at the links on this page.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Save Our Scenic Area, two non-profit conservation advocacy organizations missioned with protecting the Columbia River Gorge region, provided these comprehensive comments to the Bonneville Power Administration in reference to the proposed Whistling Ridge Wind Energy project. The project, owned by SDS Lumber Company, would consist of 50, 1.2 to 1.5 MW turbines. The opening portion and conclusion of the letter is provided below. The full comment letter can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Texas PUC chairwoman, Donna Nelson, has initiated an investigation into "the costs of [transmission] system upgrades, the costs to maintain and operate the current system, and the allocation of those costs specifically related to renewable resources." In her memo below (and attached). Chairwoman Nelson warns of the costs, particularly of the wind PTC is extended by Congress.
The Northern Pass transmission line, if built, will carry 1200 MW of renewable energy from Canada to New England. The proposed transmission has set off a firestorm of opposition in New Hampshire where the line will bisect the state and travel through sensitive land areas. The debate concerning property value impacts is similar to the that involving wind turbines. Residents in New Hampshire commissioned two studies, a Resources Impact Report and an Appraisal Report, which looked at how the power line will impact their property. A summary of the two reports is excerpted below. Both reports can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
In 2005, the Texas Legislature adopted Senate Bill 20 which directed the Public Utility Commission of Texas ('PUCT') to select the most productive wind zones in the State and devise a transmission plan to deliver wind energy from these remote areas to the State's urban centers. Five Competitive Renewable Energy Zones ('CREZs') were identified in West Texas and the Panhandle for the construction of new wind energy generation. In 2008, the PUCT ordered the construction of new transmission to support up to 18,456 megawatts of wind energy capacity at an estimated cost of $4.93 billion, or approximately $4.00 per month per residential customer once construction was completed. The costs were to be reflected as rate increases. In its order from March 2009, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), named thirteen companies to build the new electric transmission lines.
The County Commissioners of San Saba County, Texas approved Resolution #2009-07 concerning the appropriate transmission line route from Brown to Newton County. This action was taken at the behest of residents in the county who expressed concerned about the impacts of 345 KV line needed to deliver West Texas wind energy to points east. The Texas Public Utilities Commission has ordered the construction of transmission capacity to deliver generated power from the five designated Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ's) to electric customers residing in urban areas. San Saba County is one of many counties that will see massive towers and transmission lines crossing over portions of private land. The full resolution can be accessed by clicking on the link below.