Section 216(a) of the Federal Power Act, as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, directs the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct a study every three years on electric transmission congestion and constraints within the Eastern and Western Interconnections. Based on these studies, and comments concerning them from states and other stakeholders, the Secretary of Energy may designate any geographic area experiencing electric transmission capacity constraints or congestion as a national interest electric transmission corridor (National Corridor). Based on the 2006 study, two National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors were designated in 2007. These were invalidated by a federal appeals court in 2011.
The 2006 study is the first Congestion Study that the Department conducted. A second Congestion Study was conducted in 2009. On August 19, 2014, the Department issued a Federal Register Notice announcing the availability of a draft of its National Electric Transmission Congestion Study for public comment. The public comment period will close on October 20, 2014. The draft study is now available for review and downloading at http://www.energy.gov/node/942311.
The Federal Register Notice of Inquiry requesting comments and providing notice of a technical conference was issued on February 2, 2006.
A public technical conference on the 2006 study and criteria for designation of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors was held on March 29, 2006.
The Department of Energy issued the 2006 National Electric Transmission Congestion Study in August 2006.