Transmission development needed to transport renewable energy can avoid impacts to important wildlands. By engaging early in the planning process, we can ensure that needed lines are built in low impact places.
New power lines to transport renewable energy will be needed to replace fossil fuels-based energy. New transmission lines are also likely to be built where existing infrastructure and energy efficiency cannot keep up with electricity demand.
The Wilderness Society supports responsibly-located transmission lines for necessary renewable energy development. While some potential areas for renewable energy development are near existing transmission lines, many of these areas, particularly on public lands, are not.
Reducing transmission impacts
It is important that plans for our country’s energy transmission needs strike a balance with the protection of wildlife, air and water quality as well as natural and cultural resources that keep American communities healthy, safe and prosperous.
Decisions on whether and where to build new power lines should first consider whether increased energy efficiency or other upgrades could eliminate the need for new lines. When new lines are needed, they should prioritize renewable energy. Engaging planners, utilities, conservationists and other stakeholders early in the process of planning for new transmission is critical to achieve energy transmission solutions that protect wildlife and wild places.
A new era of planning
The Wilderness Society works with groups from across the electricity industry to provide transmission planners with improved information about important wildlife and lands resources across the country. For example, we are engaged in the Bureau of Land Management's work to improve corridors for transmission lines and pipelines across the west.
The Wilderness Society supports building only what is needed, and works to ensure that transmission planning efforts consider both clean energy resources and places that should be protected from development.