Transmission Infrastructure Program; Proposed Transmission Infrastructure Program Updates and Request for Comments
The Western Area Power Administration (``Western'') hereby announces updates to its Transmission Infrastructure Program (``the Program'' or TIP). The Program implements Section 402 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (``Recovery Act'') regarding loans for the purpose of: (1) Constructing, financing, facilitating, planning, operating, maintaining, or studying construction of new or upgraded electric power transmission lines and related facilities with at least one terminus within Western's service territory, and (2) delivering or facilitating the delivery of power generated by renewable energy resources constructed, or reasonably expected to be constructed, after the date that the Recovery Act was enacted. Through this Federal Register notice (FRN), Western seeks public comment on proposed updates to the Program. The proposed updates will create a more efficient and transparent process to screen and evaluate potential projects, improve communications with project applicants, promote additional interest from potential applicants that seek Western's assistance to develop a project and use Western's Recovery Act borrowing authority, and integrate the DOE Loan Programs Office into the process. The FRN also identifies the principles Western will continue using to ensure (1) that the Program is separate and distinct from Western's power marketing functions, and (2) that each eligible TIP project stands on its own for repayment purposes.