Suedeen Kelly and Porter Wiseman Pen Article for North American Windpower on Transmission Woes

Suedeen Kelly, a partner and chair of the energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice at Akin Gump, and Porter Wiseman, an associate in the practice, have written the article “No Easy Transmission Fixes” for North American Windpower, looking at the difficulties renewable generation is having due to the need for new transmission capacity.

Kelly and Wiseman write that one of the “largest barriers to transmission expansion comes from the fact that each state has the power to reject, or may simply lack the power to approve, its portion of a multistate project.” They note that since the federal government has no authority over transmission siting, except for where a project crosses federal land, approval must come from regulators in each state, which can be a difficult process.

The article also details the opposition that transmission projects often face, including “a growing and general bipartisan distrust of both corporations and the government, paired with the power of social media in expanding opposition.” In addition, federal solutions are limited with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacking authority for electric transmission under the Federal Power Act.

In the end, the authors conclude that, in the absence of congressional action, “transmission and renewable developers may have to draw on a variety of legal strategies to get their projects sited.”

Click here to read the full article.