DOE releases study of electric transmission infrastructure, congestion
In the 2005 Energy Policy Act, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study the status and needs of the nation’s electric transmission infrastructure every three years. DOE published studies in 2006, 2009, and most recently September 2015. The latest National Electric Transmission Congestion Study, which began in 2012, found low levels of transmission congestion in the Northeast attributable to generation and transmission additions made in recent years, particularly in New England and PJM. Lower demand for electricity following the most recent economic downturn, as well as investments in energy efficiency and demand response also contributed to the reduction in congestion.
The study describes the transmission investment made in New England between 2002 and 2012, and touches on current regional challenges, including the need for additional transmission investment to interconnect generation in remote locations and the rapid retirement of a number of major power plants.