Formally known as the National Electric Transmission Congestion Study, the National Transmission Needs Study (Needs Study) is DOE’s triennial state of the grid report. The Needs Study will identify high-priority national transmission needs and provide information about capacity constraints and congestion on the nation’s electric transmission grid. Where previous Congestion Studies were limited to consider only historic congestion, the Needs Study considers both historic and anticipated future transmission needs. Future transmission needs are driven by deployment of clean energy consistent with federal, state, and local policy and consumer preferences; higher electric demand as a result of building and transportation electrification; and insufficient transfer capacity across regions.   

Consistent with authority provided by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, this study will evaluate current and expected future electric transmission capacity constraints and congestion that could adversely affect consumers. DOE will consult with affected states, American Indian Tribes and Alaska Natives, and appropriate regional entities. The results of this needs assessment can inform the prioritization of the DOE financing authorities; designation of national interest electric transmission corridors (National Corridors), and regional transmission planning processes.  

Map of Interregional Renewable Generation Capacity
Map of Interregional Transmission Capacity
DOE studies consider options like these for interregional transmission and renewable generation capacity with stakeholders when analyzing the future power grid and how to meet 2035 demand and clean energy needs.