Thesis Lindsey M. Hover

Thesis: Lindsey M. Hover

An Expedient & Equitable Siting Pathway to Bridge the Transmission Supply Gap in The Mid-Atlantic

A path-dependency on state-based electricity transmission development has created an infrastructure crisis that suspends the Mid-Atlantic region, and the country, in the transition to renewable energy. There is a jurisdictional mismatch between the regional nature of this supply shortage and the state-based market controls that tend to defer to private entities to solve a very complex and very expensive inter-state problem, with funding that is sourced and deployed on a state-by-state, or privately funded basis. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has acknowledged transmission siting as a regional issue, but state controls and an expectation of private entities’ stepping in to correct the supply shortage have hitherto undermined its regionalized policy responses.

With the intention of providing an expedient and equitable siting pathway to bridge the transmission supply gap in the Mid-Atlantic, this research explores the extent to which these concerns be subverted by prioritizing federal land for the emergency siting of a much-needed transmission corridor in the region. This work contends that, in the absence of essential federal policy to encourage the existing players in the transmission market to correct the shortage, the federal government can play a more active role in bridging the transmission supply gap by leveraging its land for transmission siting in the region, and, particularly, its land reserved for coal operations.