Trump Administration Overhauls Environmental Review Process for Infrastructure Projects

The White House Council on Environmental Quality on July 16 updated regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, the first comprehensive revision since 1978. The move seeks to facilitate timely reviews under the law, which requires federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of major actions. The rule creates a time limit of one year...

Trump Signs Executive Order to Expedite Infrastructure Investments to Recover Economy from COVID-19

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 4 directing federal agencies to use emergency powers to expedite infrastructure projects to facilitate recovery from the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19. The order allows agencies to consult with the White House Council on Environmental Quality to identify “alternative arrangements” for complying with the requirements...

FERC to Examine COVID-19 Impacts on Energy Industry

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 5 announced it will convene a technical conference next month to consider the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on various segments on the U.S. energy industry. The agency will analyse the potential longer-term impacts on regulated entities to ensure efficient functioning of energy markets, power transmission, oil...

Alaska Commission Begins Process to Regulate Electric Reliability Organization

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska on May 18 opened a proceeding to establish certification standards for regional electric reliability organizations, or EROs, and create a regulatory framework to oversee them. The move stems from legislation enacted in March that authorized the commission to certify EROs and define their duties including submission of integrated resource plans,...

New York Regulator Initiates Power Grid Study to Advance Clean Energy Goals

The New York Public Service Commission on May 14 opened a proceeding to implement the provisions of the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act with regard to distribution and transmission upgrades and capital expenditures needed to meet the state’s clean energy goals. The law established a new siting office to streamline permitting for...

Maine Approves Avangrid’s $950 Million Hydropower Transmission Project

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection on May 11 granted a permit allowing Central Maine Power Company to build its New England Clean Energy Connect, a transmission project designed to deliver up to 1.2 gigawatts of Canadian hydropower into the Northeast. The proposed 145-mile high-voltage power line would cross western Maine to supply Massachusetts with...

Midwest Grid Operator Prepared to Meet Summer Electricity Needs

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. anticipates summer power demand to peak at 125 gigawatts, with 152 gigawatts of available capacity to meet the need, according to an April 29 news release. The grid operator said that impacts to the outage schedule from COVID-19 have been minor and no reliability impacts are foreseen due to...

FERC Proposes Revisions to Transmission Incentive Policy with Focus on Project Benefits

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 20 proposed revisions to its electric transmission incentive policy to spur investment in the infrastructure needed to support the evolving generation mix, increasing number of new resources seeking transmission service, and changes in load patterns. The commission proposes a shift in its incentive analysis to grant incentives based...

New Mexico Enacts Trio of Bills Supporting Renewable Energy Expansion

Democratic Governor Michelle Grisham signed a suite of bills on March 3 including legislation that reinstates the solar tax incentive that expired in 2016, helping the state move toward its goal achieving 50 percent renewable energy 2030. A second bill provides that transmission line projects qualify for industrial revenue bonds available through cities and municipalities,...

PJM Board Approves $234 Million for Transmission System Expansion

The PJM Interconnection LLC’s Board of Managers authorized an investment of nearly $234 million in projects aimed to upgrade the transmission system and enhance the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan, or RTEP, to ensure economical and reliable power supply in the grid operator’s 13-state region and the District of Columbia, according to a Feb. 20 news release.…

New York Advances $485 Million Transmission Project to Enhance Grid Reliability, Support Renewables

The New York State Public Service Commission approved the first phase of the New York Power Authority’s Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, which is designed to improve the reliability and resilience of the electric system in Upstate New York, according to a Feb. 6 news release. The project will rebuild facilities that are well past…

Southwest Power Pool to Invest $545 Million in Transmission Upgrades Amid Rapidly Changing Generation Mix

The Southwest Power Pool Inc.’s Board of Directors approved the grid operator’s 2020 transmission expansion plan report, a comprehensive listing of transmission projects in the region for the 20-year planning horizon, according to a Jan. 28 news release. The plan includes 78 projects to be constructed over the next six years in eight states at…