Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today introduced legislation that would facilitate the approval, siting and financing of the green power superhighway. It is the first step in what will be a complicated legislative journey. Congress is also set to consider legislation establishing a national renewable electricity standard (RES) and also may take up climate change legislation
In a statement, Sen. Reid said, “My legislation will require the President to designate renewable energy zones with significant clean energy generating potential. Then, a massive planning effort will begin in all the interconnection areas of the country to maximize the use of that renewable potential by building new transmission capacity. The states would then propose cost allocation means to fund the new lines in the green transmission grid plans. If either process falters, then the federal government would be given clear authority to keep things moving and get the new transmission built on schedule and funded equitably. “
In a statement released tonight, AWEA said, “We appreciate Senator Reid’s leadership addressing transmission for our renewable energy future. Many of the proposals in the AWEA-SEIA white paper on transmission are reflected in this bill. We look forward to working with Senator Reid, other Members of Congress, states, and other stakeholders to achieve consensus around the three major components that are required to access and deliver significant amounts of renewable energy: interconnection-wide planning, interconnection-wide cost allocation, and consolidated permitting.”
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to hold hearings on the issue later this month.