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Hickenlooper Applauds Biden Announcement to Accelerate Grid Development, Calls for More

May 8, 2024

Department of Energy announced a list of 10 potential National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (NIETCs) which would accelerate transmission projects in high-priority areas

Hickenlooper’s permitting reform bills would help streamline transmission rollout and amplify these national corridors

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper welcomed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) announcement of 10 potential National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (NIETCs), which would accelerate the development of transmission projects in high-priority areas. DOE also announced minimum eligibility criteria for loans to help finance transmission projects in these designated NIETCs. 

DOE’s announcement of the potential NIETCs and funding process complements the permitting reforms Hickenlooper has called for in his SPEED & Reliability Act and BIG WIRES Act.

“We’re updating our energy grid for the clean energy future thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act,” said Hickenlooper. “These corridors will increase reliability and cut costs for Coloradans.”

One of the 10 potential NIETCs includes portions of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. An NIETC is an area currently lacking adequate transmission and where the development of new transmission would increase reliability and reduce consumer costs for the region. A designation unlocks critical federal financing and permitting tools to spur transmission development, including direct loans through the Transmission Facility Financing (TFF) program, public-private partnerships through the Transmission Facilitation Program, and Federal siting and permitting authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

DOE’s announcement initiates the second phase of the NIETC designation process and is now seeking public input on both the preliminary list of potential NIETCs and the TFF program application and evaluation process. 

Hickenlooper sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which has made permitting reform a priority. Hickenlooper recently introduced two bills to build on the committee’s work and address comprehensive permitting reform. The first, Hickenlooper’s SPEED & Reliability Act, would reduce duplicative environmental reviews for national interest transmission lines and allow state and federal reviews to happen simultaneously. The second, Hickenlooper’s BIG WIRES Act, streamlines the country’s patchwork energy transmission system by directing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to better coordinate construction of an interregional transmission system.


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