VELCO transmission planners continually evaluate the performance of the electric transmission network by comprehensively analyzing 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 ISO-New England in its responsibility to plan the transmission system for New England, as reflected in 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.
Vermont planning process
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.
Vermont Long-Range Transmission Plan
VELCO published a 20-year Vermont Long-Range Transmission Plan in 2006, which we update every three years (2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, etc.). The Long-Range Plan pages provide links to past plans, plan-related public outreach, and the development cycle for the next plan.
Following publication of the 2006 plan, Vermont adopted a 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, following extensive public outreach activities on a Public Review Draft.
On July 1, 2012, VELCO published the 2012 update of the Vermont Long-Range Transmission Plan, following extensive collaboration and review by the Vermont System Planning Committee and two-month public input process.
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, 2012, 2015 and 2018 Plans were designed specifically to meet Vermont Plan requirements, and contain no CEII.
The current plan—the 2021 update—is currently open for public comment, and will be filed with the Public Utility Commission by July 1, 2021.