Long-Range Transmission Planning
VELCO transmission planners continually evaluate the operation of the electric transmission network and comprehensively analyze how various factors, such as Vermont and regional demand, proposed new generation and growth, will affect system reliability and operation. The planning process is continuous and is guided by both the state and regional requirements and coordination.
VELCO collaborates with the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE) in its responsibility to plan the transmission system for New England. VELCO conducts the Vermont analysis that informs the ISO-NE’s annual report on transmission system needs, the Regional System Plan (RSP). Both VELCO and ISO-NE must plan and design the transmission system to meet regional and national standards. The national transmission planning standards are mandatory and are maintained by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The regional design criteria and procedures are maintained by the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) and ISO-NE.
At the state level, VELCO must publish a Long-Range Transmission Plan that looks out 20 years and is updated every three years. That Plan analyzes the transmission system, identifies where the system does not meet design and reliability criteria and describes the transmission alternatives to resolve the concerns. The Plan serves as a foundation for a collaborative process involving all Vermont utilities and other stakeholders through the Vermont System Planning Committee. The purpose of this collaborative process is to ensure full, fair and timely consideration of alternatives to building transmission where alternatives can meet the identified reliability needs. In addition, the process incorporates public participation and outreach at each step of planning cycle.
VELCO published its first formal Vermont Long-Range Transmission Plan in 2006. Following its publication, Vermont adopted its new collaborative planning process and changes occurred in federal reliability criteria. On July 1, 2009, VELCO published the 2009 Vermont Long-Range Transmission Plan incorporating the new requirements. Publication of the final plan followed extensive public outreach activities on a Public Review Draft.
The 2006 Plan was published before the implementation of Federal rules restricting the publication of Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (CEII). It is available for download in a redacted version that protects the CEII it contains. Visit the CEII page for information about obtaining the unredacted version.
The 2009 Plan was designed specifically to meet Vermont Plan requirements, and contains no CEII.