- Endpoints and substations along the proposed route of a transmission line are evaluated by state and federal agencies, and the regional transmission grid operator, which coordinates, controls, and monitors the electric grid across multiple states.
- Corridors and crossing locations are evaluated for their economic and technical feasibility.
- Routes along existing infrastructure are considered best for minimizing their impact. For example, along existing transmission line routes, or parallel to railroads or major highways.
- Key crossings, such as rivers, are highly evaluated.
- Densely populated areas and municipalities are avoided when possible.
- Bird migration routes and habitats are considered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other conservation groups.
- Habitat loss and fragmentation is a great concern. Sensitive public lands can be avoided for their scenic, natural, recreational, cultural, or historic resources.
- Existing or designated renewable energy corridors can minimize the impact by guiding transmission lines along discreet, well-defined, and already studied areas.
- Social, cultural, and public policies are also considered when evaluating potential routes.
New technologies and energy alternatives can reduce the demand for new generation and infrastructure for renewables. These include:
Energy efficiency: Efficiency should be the first component of new energy developments. Focusing on energy efficiency can boost reliability and resiliency in times of stress.
Microgrids: Investing in small grids along with energy storage and efficiency can reduce peak demand while boosting reliability.
Energy storage: Storing power generated on-site can help reduce peak demand for electricity and reduce costs for consumers.
Demand response: Each of these best practices, along with smart transmission line development, can create a more adept demand response making electricity more reliable and affordable.