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Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance Division

Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance Division

Timely, accurate and defensible policy and market analysis is a key ingredient to building and sustaining successful programs at DOE. The Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance Division coordinates OE's policy-related activities which include:

Coordination of Federal Transmission Authorizations
Section 1221(a) of EPACT added section 216(h) to the Federal Power Act, which requires that DOE act as the lead agency for purposes of coordinating all applicable Federal authorizations and related environmental reviews required to site an electric transmission facility. DOE and eight other Federal agencies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding and DOE is considering the need for regulations to further implement its responsibilities under section 216(h).

Interconnection-Wide Transmission Planning Initiative
Pursuant to Title IV of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the Department of Energy is promoting collaborative long-term analysis and planning for the Eastern, Western and Texas electricity interconnections, which will help states, utilities, grid operators, and others prepare for future growth in energy demand, renewable energy sources, and Smart Grid technologies.  This represents the first-ever effort to take a collaborative, comprehensive look across each of the three transmission interconnections to assess transmission needs for future electricity scenarios.  Secretary Chu announced the interconnection-wide planning awards on December 18, 2009.

Energy Corridors on Federal Lands
DOE, the Bureau of Land Management, and other cooperating Federal agencies have released for public review and comment a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement supporting designation of energy transport corridors on Federal lands in 11 Western States.

National Electric Transmission Congestion Study
OE performs ongoing analysis of the Eastern and Western Interconnects to identify major electric transmission constraints. EPACT requires DOE to publish a National Electric Transmission Congestion Study every three years. Studies were published in 2006 and 2009. The 2012 study is currently underway.

Presidential Permits and Export Authorizations
OE authorizes the export of electric energy to Canada and Mexico and issues permits for the construction, connection, operation, and/or maintenance of electric transmission facilities at the international border so all three countries can more fully realize economic and reliability benefits.

Electricity Policy Technical Assistance
Working with states and regions, OE provides technical assistance and analysis support for policies, market mechanisms, and programs that facilitate competitive, reliable, environmentally-sensitive, customer-friendly electric markets. Key areas include efforts in the areas of demand response and ratepayer-funded energy efficiency.

Federal Power Act Section 202(c) Emergency Orders
Under FPA section 202(c) during the continuance of a war in which the United States is engaged or when an emergency exists by reason of a sudden increase in the demand for electric energy, or a shortage of electric energy, or of facilities for the generation or transmission of electric energy, or of the fuel or water for generating facilities, or other causes, the Secretary of Energy may require by order temporary connections of facilities, and generation, delivery, interchange, or transmission of electricity as the Secretary determines will best meet the emergency and serve the public interest. 16 U.S.C. § 824a(c).