Section 1221(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Federal Power Act (FPA) by adding a new section 216 to that Act. FPA section 216(a) directed the Secretary of Energy to conduct a nation-wide study of electric transmission congestion by August 8, 2006. Based upon the congestion study,comments thereon, and considerations that include economics, reliability, fuel diversity, national energy policy, and national security, the Secretary may designate “any geographic area experiencing electric energy transmission capacity constraints or congestion that adversely affects customers as a national interest electric transmission corridor.” The national congestion study is to be updated every three years.
This document is the Department of Energy’s first congestion study in response to the law. It examines transmission congestion and constraints and identifies constrained transmission paths in many areas of the Nation, based on examination of historical studies of transmission conditions, existing studies of transmission expansion needs, and unprecedented region-wide modeling of both the Eastern and Western Interconnections.