NORWICH – A legal maneuver that allows the federal government to supplant a state’s authority in the review of certain power line proposals – that have historically been under its sovereign jurisdiction – has yet to be exercised, and thus far a plan to do so has not been formulated, a federal official said.
Following orders guided by the 2005 Federal Energy Policy, four month ago the U.S. Department of Energy completed a nationwide electricity congestion study, and was given the power to designate the geographic areas it deemed the most severely congested as “National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors.” Under certain circumstances, states located within those federal spaces would then have to give-way to the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“There is not a set schedule,” said David Meyer, a Deputy Director with the DOE in an interview with The Evening Sun, referring to the timeline for possible designations of the national interest corridors. “We are required to do a congestion study every three years. After that the secretary (Samuel W. Bodman) can issue a corridor as needed, and as it is appropriate.”