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High-voltage transmission lines form the backbone of electricity systems. Transmission lines are designed to carry large amounts of electricity at high voltages, typically 115 to 500 kilovolts (kV), across long distances. Networks of transmission lines transfer electricity from power plants or other interconnections to substations. At substations, the high-voltage electricity is “stepped down” to a lower voltage, which can be carried via lower-voltage distribution lines to residential, business, and governmental consumers.

The construction and operation of high-voltage transmission lines are regulated by a variety of state and federal agencies and regulations. In addition to electrical system regulations, transmission lines are subject to environmental laws and regulations at the state and federal levels. Local zoning regulations and land use plans may also govern the location of high-voltage transmission lines within counties and cities.

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West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS

The West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) evaluates potential impacts associated with the proposed action to designate corridors on federal land in 11 Western States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) for oil, gas and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities.

Based upon the information and analyses developed in this PEIS, the agencies issuing the PEIS would amend their respective land use plans by designating a series of energy corridors effective upon signing of the Record(s) of Decision.

Transmission 101

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PPT outlining the basics of the transmission system in the U.S.