This came over the wire earlier this week, and with all that’s going on in transmission right now, and with a headline like this, I just can’t bear to look at it.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Final Transmission Permitting Rule and Latest Investments To Accelerate the Build Out of a Resilient, Reliable, Modernized Electric Grid

But just that first sentence was a huge relief:

In a continued commitment to bolster the U.S. power grid, today the Biden-Harris Administration announced a final transmission permitting reform rule and a new commitment for up to $331 million aimed at adding more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of additional grid capacity throughout the Western United States – the equivalent to powering 2.5 million homes and creating more than 300 new, high quality and union construction jobs.

$331 million? 2,000 MW? I guess it may sound like a lot for those not in the groove, but $331 million doesn’t buy much in the way of transmission, and 2,000 MW is essentially the equivalent of a standard Xcel Energy transmission, or less! Next, “powering 2.5 million homes…” and compare that with Minnesota’s 2,470,483 housing units, and what does that mean? If that would really power 2.5 million homes why do we need BILLIONS of dollars of new transmission in Minnesota?

In addition to that odd “new commitment” to add grid capacity, they’re announcing a Coordinated Interagency Transmission Authorizations and Permits (CITAP) Program. The big deal is that the feds are coordinating the federal review process, and there’s a 2 year timeline. ? Seems like a big nothingburger.

Here’s the rule:

I am particularly concerned about potential jurisdiction/authority creep, but this doesn’t seem to be overreach, not as grabby as the NEITC federal authority. See NIETC Guidance Document. And speaking of NIETC, about as malignant program as possible, here’s the schedule on this latest round:

In the meantime, here’s something for your reading enjoyment. Having dealt with NIETC in Delaware, and the notion that utilities can go to the feds and essentially demand a permit, NIETC is the threat that looms:

GDO NIETC Final Guidance Document

2023-12-19 GDO NIETC Guidance Document

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