PUBLIC UTILITY REGULATION
SITING OF CERTAIN ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION FACILITIES
61-1703. Commission authority — Preemption — Rules. (1) In the event that the secretary designates a national interest electric transmission corridor within Idaho, the public utilities commission is authorized to review the siting of all electric transmission facilities within such federally designated corridor. After notice and an opportunity for hearing, the commission shall review and deny, approve, or approve with conditions an application seeking a route certificate to construct transmission facilities within a designated national interest electric transmission corridor.
(2) In reviewing an application for a route certificate, the commission shall base its findings on the following standards:
(a) The regional or national benefits expected to be achieved by the proposed construction or modification of transmission facilities;
(b) The proposed construction or modification will significantly reduce transmission congestion in interstate commerce and benefit electric consumers;
(c) The proposed construction or modification is consistent with sound national energy policy and will enhance energy independence;
(d) The proposed construction or modification is consistent with the public interest;
(e) The proposed route minimizes adverse impacts on the important environmental features of the state and localities to the extent reasonable and economical;
(f) The transmission utility has the financial ability and experience to undertake the construction of transmission facilities; and
(g) The proposed modification will maximize, to the extent reasonable and economical, and consistent with reliability planning, the transmission capabilities of existing towers or structures.
(3) The commission is vested with the authority to preempt local government land use decisions pertaining to the construction of transmission facilities in national interest electric transmission corridors in the following instances:
(a) If a local government has denied or not authorized a transmitting utility to construct transmission facilities in a designated national interest electric transmission corridor by sixty (60) days after an application for a route certificate has been filed with the commission; or
(b) If the transmitting utility claims that a local land use condition imposed by a local government is unreasonable or not economical, then the commission may preempt the local government’s denial, lack of decision or conditioned decision after giving the affected local government an opportunity to appear before the commission.
The transmitting utility shall have the burden of demonstrating that the local government’s final land use decision will not be timely issued, is unreasonable, or is not economical.
(4) The commission may promulgate temporary and proposed rules as may be necessary to implement the timely review of applications for transmission routing certificates in a national interest electric transmission corridor.
[61-1703, added 2007, ch. 186, sec. 1, p. 536.]