Arizona Bulk Transmission Permitting Process (AZ)
The steps of the Arizona bulk transmission permitting process are summarized in the chart below. Roll over each section for a summary of the regulations and permits it covers. Click a section to learn more about the required permits and regulations related to that topic.
Choose a Process Topic
Environmental Review On Site Evaluation Cultural Resources Biological Resources Pre-Existing Land Use Water Quality Air Quality Geological Resources Aesthetic & Recreational Resources
Bulk Transmission Development in Arizona
The electrical grid in Arizona is part of the Western Interconnection power grid and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) is the Regional Entity responsible for coordinating and promoting Bulk Electric System reliability in the Western Interconnection, including Arizona. WECC also provides an environment for coordinating the operating and planning activities of its members as set forth in the WECC Bylaws.
Arizona is included in the WestConnect Transmission Planning area, which covers the desert southwest. In 2007, WestConnect established a subregional planning process and subregional transmission planning is being performed by various groups. In Arizona, transmission planning is performed by the Southwest Area Transmission (SWAT). SWAT is comprised of transmission regulators, government and environmental entities, and transmission users, owners and operators. The goal of SWAT is to promote regional planning in the Desert Southwest.
Subcommittees formed under SWAT include the Central Arizona Transmission System (CATS), Colorado River Transmission (CRT), and the Southeastern Arizona Transmission Study (SATS). In 2013, these subcommittees were merged to form the Arizona Transmission Subcommittee charged with studying the high voltage (HV) and extra high voltage (EHV) systems throughout Arizona and along both sides of the Colorado River between southern Nevada and Yuma.
In Arizona, there are investor-owned, independent, and municipal transmission providers, including:
- Arizona Public Service Co that serves Flagstaff, Prescott, and several surrounding municipalities across Arizona;
- Arizona Generation and Transmission Cooperative, that serves electric cooperatives across Arizona;
- Tucson Electric Power Co that serves the city of Tuscon, Arizona;
- Western Area Power Administration that serves municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, public utilities, and irrigation districts across Arizona; and
- Salt River Project that serves portions of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and other surrounding municipalities in central Arizona.
Arizona Energy Office
In early 2013, the governor of Arizona signed an executive order establishing Arizona’s Master Energy Plan Task Force to draft a master energy plan for Arizona. The task force includes four work groups: Transportation, Fuels and Infrastructure Planning; Business, Regulation and Workforce; Environment, Natural Resources and Land Use; and Technology Development. The Technology Development work group led by the Arizona Commerce Authority addresses several issues, including upgrades to existing transmission infrastructure. The Task Force will submit a draft master energy plan to the Governor by the end of 2013.