FAST-41 Covered Clean Energy Transmission Project Projected to Transform Renewable Energy Landscape in Arizona and California
Permitting Council Press Office (Media@fpisc.gov)
WASHINGTON (January 20, 2023) – This week, Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council) Executive Director Christine Harada joined Vice President Kamala Harris, Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to break ground on the Ten West Link Transmission Line Project. This $280 million FAST-41 covered project is projected to be a renewable energy game-changer in the west, modernizing the energy infrastructure for millions across Arizona and California.
“This is an exciting moment for the Permitting Council, as we realize the fruits of the coordination, collaboration, and transparency of the FAST-41 interagency coordination process,” said Christine Harada, Permitting Council Executive Director. “The Ten West Link Transmission Project showcases what is possible when infrastructure projects are covered by FAST-41, and I am excited to see the role this project will play in the clean energy revolution that is fast becoming our reality.”
The 500 kilovolt, 125 mile transmission line project will connect existing substations near Tonopah, Arizona and Blythe, California, providing the infrastructure needed to increase renewable energy development and delivery for residents. This project permits at least 25 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal production on public lands, making it a significant advancement towards the clean energy future. The Ten West Link Transmission Line project is projected to not only modernize the energy infrastructure in the area, but is also expected to strengthen grid reliability, improve efficiency, and potentially lower energy costs for consumers in both states.
After receiving FAST-41 coverage in 2016, the Ten West Link Transmission Line project had the benefit of a coordinated and transparent environmental review and authorization process overseen by the Permitting Council. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management worked with the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, Tribal leadership, project sponsor Lotus Infrastructure Partners, and the local community to get the project to the final approval stage in July 2022. To learn more about the Ten West Transmission project, visit the Permitting Council website.
About the Permitting Council
Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41), the Permitting Council is a unique Federal agency charged with improving the transparency and predictability of the Federal environmental review and authorization process for certain critical infrastructure projects. The Permitting Council is comprised of the Permitting Council Executive Director, who serves as the Council Chair; 13 Federal agency Council members (including deputy secretary-level designees of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Army, Commerce, Interior, Energy, Transportation, Defense, Homeland Security, and Housing and Urban Development, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation); and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The Permitting Council coordinates Federal environmental reviews and authorizations for projects that seek and qualify for FAST-41 coverage. FAST-41 covered projects are entitled to comprehensive permitting timetables and transparent, collaborative management of those timetables on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41 covered projects may be in the renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, carbon capture, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software, quantum information science and technology, data storage and data management, and cybersecurity sectors.