The National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC) will release on Dec. 2 language for a compact aimed at streamlining efforts to site interstate electricity transmission lines.
Compacts are agreements between states, and states agree to join various compacts that serve that particular state’s interests, a spokesperson for the Council of State Governments (CSG) told TransmissionHub on Nov. 9, adding, “The Interstate Transmission Line Siting Compact language will be introduced in various state legislatures next year.”
According to the CSG, which is a region-based forum that promotes the exchange of ideas to help state officials shape public policy, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted states advance congressional consent to create regional interstate compacts governing the siting of interstate transmission lines.
“I believe that this piece of legislation provides a real opportunity for states to actively engage in the process of siting interstate transmission lines,” Kansas state Rep. Tom Sloan, co-chair of the compact drafting team, said in an Oct. 25 statement, referring to the language to be released in December at the CSG’s 2012 national conference in Austin, Texas. “If successful, it has the potential to standardize the siting process and reduce many of the inefficiencies that have previously prevented lines from being built.”
The compact is intended to improve efficiencies and create standardization during the siting process by establishing common applications, predetermined timelines and uniform public comment periods, CSG added on Oct. 25. Such an agreement would be triggered on an ad hoc basis and would pertain only to those states that are members of the compact and affected by the proposed line.
CSG also said the compact will be of importance with the country’s need to enhance and secure the energy infrastructure, expected electricity demand growth and the growing desire to bring more renewable resources to market.
The presentation in Austin will be the start of an education effort designed to inform policymakers about the compact and the potential benefits it can offer states, CSG said.