U.S. DOE Announces $1.3 Billion For Transmission Lines Crossing Six States

Source: NASEO

On October 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is entering into capacity contract negotiations with a commitment of up to $1.3 billion in three transmission line projects crossing six states. The funding is part of the Transmission Facilitation Program, through the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA), and will advance transformative projects aimed at adding 3.5 gigawatts of additional grid capacity throughout the United States, equivalent to powering approximately 3 million homes, and creating more than 13,000 direct and indirect jobs. Through capacity contracts, DOE will commit to purchasing a percentage of the total proposed capacity of the eligible transmission line. The selected projects are:

  • Cross-Tie 500kV Transmission Line Project (Nevada, Utah). Cross-Tie is a proposed 214-mile 1500 MW transmission line connecting existing transmission systems in Utah and Nevada to increase transmission capacity, improve grid reliability and resilience, relieve congestion on other key transmission lines, and expand access to low-cost renewable energy across the region. The bidirectional nature of Cross-Tie will increase transfer capabilities in the West, unlocking increased access to renewable energy resources in the region.
  • Southline Transmission Project (Arizona, New Mexico). Southline is a proposed 175-mile, 748 MW transmission line from Hidalgo County, NM to Pima County, AZ that will help unlock renewable energy development in southern New Mexico and deliver clean energy to growing markets in Arizona that currently rely on fossil fuel generation. The project, which is the first phase of a longer line, will make smart use of existing transmission rights of way along parts of its route, upgrading aging transmission facilities that are the source of congestion and constraints in the region.
  • Twin States Clean Energy Link (New Hampshire, Vermont). Twin States is a proposed 1,200 MW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) bidirectional line that will expand the capacity of the New England electric grid and improve its resiliency, reliability, and efficiency by providing access to clean firm energy supplies in Quebec, Canada. The bidirectional design of the Twin States line will also allow the New England grid to export power to Canada when New England is producing more energy than it needs to meet its own demand, which is expected to occur as the offshore wind industry in New England expands.

Many of these selections are based on the National Transmission Needs Study. For more information on the awardees, see the DOE announcement here.