Maps and Graphics:
Proposed Section 386 Transmission Corridors in Relation to Energy Resources
- Existing and Proposed Coal Plants (.jpg)
- Geothermal Power Resources (.jpg)
- Concentrating Solar Power Resources (.jpg)
- Photovoltaic Power Resources (.jpg)
- TransWest Express and High Plains Express Transmission Proposals (.jpg)
- Wind Power Resources (.jpg)
- Potential Renewable Energy Zones In NV,AZ, CO, UT and NM (.pdf)
- Potential Energy Zones with Proposed Regional Transmission Projects (.pdf)
Regional Renewable Energy Zones
Transmission Planning by State + Sensitive Areas
- NV Transmission Planning (.pdf)
- NV Transmission Planning with Sensitive Areas (.pdf)
- NV Renewable Energy Zones and Transmission (.pdf)
- NV Renewable Energy Zones, Transmission and Sensitive Areas (.pdf)
- WRA Proposal for New Transmission in NV (.pdf)
Doing Transmission Right
Improving America's transmission infrastructure is essential for a number of reasons:
- Meeting a rising demand for energy
- A significant growth of renewable energy production needs transmission to bring power to the market
- The need for increased reliability in the current electrical grid
In order to accelerate the approval of renewable energy projects in need of transmission access and direct transmission projects to the right locations, Western Resource Advocates developed Smart Lines, a set of transmission guidelines and principles that are at the core of sound and smart-from-the-start transmission planning for renewable energy sources. The full Smart Lines report is now available as a .pdf document (3.6KB).
The four tenets of Smart Lines are:
- Efficiency First: Employ demand-side management to reduce the amount of energy needed.
- Maximize the existing grid.
- Connect to clean and renewable energy resources. The old grid was designed with fossil-fueled energy in mind.
- Ensure long-lasting protection for public lands and wildlife resources.
The current grid was designed to transmit energy from fossil-fuel burning power plants. These engines of climate change emit massive amounts of greenhouse gasses and have negative consequences on human and environmental health. The grid of the future must effectively integrate this nation's wealth of renewable energy, and conversion to renewable energy sources is being mandated in states across the West through renewable portfolio standards.
Transmission projects that facilitate renewable energy, however, cannot receive a blank check of approval. Proper planning for siting new transmission lines is critically important to direct both renewable energy development and supporting transmission to the least environmentally sensitive areas in the West. Otherwise, new transmission can have negative effects on endangered species, habitat, and iconic western landscapes and recreation areas. This must be taken into account in the planning process.
The Western Governors Association has identified lack of transmission for new energy sources as one of the most significant problems facing the region. But new power lines must be “smart lines” to ensure that new transmission moves the western U.S. to a forward-thinking and balanced energy policy fitting for the 21st Century.
Why Talk About Transmission?
A forward-thinking energy policy for the West includes investments in energy efficiency and locally-produced generation such as rooftop solar that do not require long-distance transmission. However, these resources alone will not be sufficient to meet future or current energy needs. In order to make strides in the fight against climate change, large-scale renewable energy projects are an essential component of a balanced energy policy for the West. However, the best places in the West for these large-scale renewable projects lack sufficient transmission access. So we need to talk about transmission – and actively participate in its planning – in a smart and thoughtful way. If we don’t, it will be difficult to achieve the many benefits of the new energy economy.
For more information, please contact Gary Graham, Transmission Project Director by email or by phone at 303.444.1188 x244