The Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) is a non-profit corporation that is approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to oversee the reliability of the transmission system in the Western Interconnection, and includes most of the western states and parts of Canada and Mexico.
WECC hired SWCA to conduct a study that would substantiate WECC’s recommendations regarding how environmental mitigation costs might be applied generally for long-term transmission expansion planning efforts within the WECC region.
SWCA was selected because our approach combined interviews with actual transmission project developers and our expert applied knowledge of the primary environmental regulations that typically have the greatest influence on the transmission project development process.
SWCA prepared the “Environmental Mitigation Costs Study,” that included 29 projects, 27 associated transmission operator interviews, assumption and criteria development, cost, land and risk classifications, and ultimately a set a mitigation costs associated with risk categories. The project was extremely challenging given the breadth of project settings and nuances, and SWCA carefully distilled the large volume of information into results-based recommendations that WECC could use as part of its long-range planning tool to help understand the complexities of transmission project planning, and appropriately estimate and manage environmental mitigation costs.