PUBLIC UTILITY REGULATION
POWERS AND DUTIES OF PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
61-516. priority designation for electric transmission projects. (1) The legislature finds that the timely review and permitting of electric transmission facilities is critical to the well-being of the citizens and the economy of this state and the region. The legislature further finds that enactment of this section is necessary to promote the public interest. The purpose of this section is for the public utilities commission to determine whether the construction of electric transmission facilities should be designated to receive priority processing by state agencies. This section is not intended to affect a state agency’s decision-making authority to approve, deny or condition an application to construct electric transmission facilities.
(2) For purposes of this section the following definitions shall apply:
(a) "Electric transmission facilities" means the construction of high voltage transmission lines with an operating level capacity of two hundred thirty thousand (230,000) volts or more and associated substations and switchyards.
(b) "State agency" means every state department, division, commission or board.
(3) Any person intending to construct eligible electric transmission facilities in Idaho may file an application with the public utilities commission seeking priority designation. An order granting priority designation shall not constitute regulatory approval or bind any state agency. If the commission issues an order granting priority designation, state agencies subsequently involved in the permitting or siting processes for such electric transmission facilities shall be required to give the application priority or immediate attention as it relates to reviews, permits, reports, studies or comments.
(4) In reviewing an application for priority designation, the public utilities commission shall base its findings on whether the proposed construction of electric transmission facilities will:
(a) Benefit Idaho customers and the Idaho economy;
(b) Improve electric transmission capacity and reliability in Idaho and the region; and
(c) Promote the public interest.
(5) Applications for priority designation filed with the public utilities commission shall be governed by the commission’s rules of administrative procedure. The commission may promulgate administrative rules in compliance with chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, or may issue procedural orders necessary to implement this section.
[61-516, added 2009, ch. 9, sec. 1, p. 11.]