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DOE Issues National Transmission Needs Study, New Funding

DOE Issues National Transmission Needs Study, New Funding

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced up to $1.3 billion for three transmission lines crossing six states, funding allocated from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The projects aim to support 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of additional grid capacity throughout the United States, equivalent to powering approximately 3 million homes, and creating more than 13,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to DOE figures. To ensure that transmission buildout is done in an informed and precise manner, DOE also released the final National Transmission Needs Study (Needs Study) to provide insight into where the grid would benefit from increased transmission resources.

The DOE National Transmission Needs Study estimates that by 2035, the U.S. must more than double the existing regional transmission capacity and expand existing interregional transmission capacity by more than fivefold. The Transmission Facilitation Program and the Needs Study represent financial and planning elements of DOE’s three-pronged approach to expanding and modernizing critical electric infrastructure: enhancing transmission planning, strengthening permitting processes, and providing financial tools to support deployment. Other key findings from the Needs Study include:
 
  • There is a pressing need for additional electric transmission infrastructure in nearly all regions of the country to improve reliability and resilience
  • By 2030 large relative deployments of interregional transfer capacity are needed between the Delta and Plains, Midwest and Plains, and Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions to meet future demands

An information webinar reviewing the results of the Needs Study will be held on November 8, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Registration is required.

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