RAPID/Geothermal/Utah/Transmission

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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Utah Geothermal Transmission & Interconnection(8-UT)

Developers of high voltage power lines must obtain siting approval if they qualify as a public utility. Public utility developers are also required to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

Developers must obtain approval from the Utah Public Service Commission (UPSC) to construct high voltage power lines pursuant to the Siting of High Voltage Power Line Act if they qualify as a “public utility.” “Public utilities” include “electric corporations,” which are defined, in part, as “every corporation, cooperative association, and person, their lessees, trustees, and receivers, owning, controlling, operating, or managing any electrical plant, or in any way furnishing electric power for public service or to its customers or members for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.” Utah Code Ann. 54-2-1(7)(a). Siting approval is required if the project involves a generating facility that will need transmission to the point of interconnect. Developers must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the UPSC along with all associated documents for review. Any land use authority that may be affected by construction may provide written comments on the NOI. UC 54-18-301(2)(c). Developers are required to conduct public workshops at locations along the proposed corridor to inform the public of the planned project. UC 54-18-302(1). Developers must submit a land use application with the local land use authority following submission of the NOI. UC 54-18-303(2). The local land use authority may approve, deny, or approve with conditions any land use application. UC 54-14. If the local land use authority denies an application, then developers may appeal the decision to the Utility Facility Review Board (UFRB). UC 54-14.

Developers must obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) if they qualify as an “electric corporation.” In Utah, an electric corporation “may not establish, or begin construction or operation of a line…or any extension of a line” without first obtaining a CPCN from the PSC. This requirement does not apply to projects providing additional capacity or projects providing replacement capacity. Utah Code Ann. 11-13-304(2)(b). Developers must submit a CPCN Application to the PSC for review. PSC will conduct a public hearing to review the application. If the CPCN application is denied, then the developer may apply for a rehearing.

Local Process
Projects not requiring a CPCN must still comply with local siting regulations.

More Information

Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Utah Federal

Transmission Siting Agency: Utah Public Service Commission Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Transmission Siting: Developers must obtain approval from the Utah Public Service Commission (UPSC) to construct high voltage power lines pursuant to the Siting of High Voltage Power Line Act if they qualify as a “public utility.” [1]
Transmission Siting Threshold: Minimum nominal voltage of 230 kV. The line must be located on state land for this to apply.
Public Utility Definition for Transmission Facility: “Public utilities” include “electric corporations,” which are defined, in part, as “every corporation, cooperative association, and person, their lessees, trustees, and receivers, owning, controlling, operating, or managing any electrical plant, or in any way furnishing electric power for public service or to its customers or members for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.” Utah Code Ann. 54-2-1(7)(a). [2]
Public Utility Regulatory Authority Certification Transmission Threshold: None [1]

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List of Reference Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Utah UC 54-18, Siting of High Voltage Power Line Act (2009).
  2. Utah UC 54-2-1, Public Utilities Definitions (2010).
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