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Transmission and Wind: A WPA Webinar

May 18, 2011

This free webinar is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America 2011 webinar series. The speakers focused on three activities that provide the opportunity to build additional transmission lines to get renewable energy to the market—Western Renewable Energy Zones (WREZs), USDA's Rural Utilities Service, and Western Area Power Administration's (Western's) Transmission Infrastructure Program.

WREZs are areas throughout the Western Interconnection that feature the potential for large-scale development of renewable resources with low environmental impacts. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory works with stakeholders to identify more specific areas within WREZs that balance the benefits of renewable energy development with the need to protect wildlife and crucial habitat.

USDA's Rural Utilities Service provides funding to build new transmission and distribution lines under USDA Rural Development's Electric Loan Program. Recipients must meet the conditions of the loan agreement.

Section 402 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides Western new borrowing authority and a source of funds to build transmission lines that help deliver renewable resources to market. To implement this authority, Western created the Transmission Infrastructure Program to assist the modernization of our nation's infrastructure and enhance energy independence.


  • Introductions, Guy Nelson, Western Contractor
  • Western Renewable Energy Zones, Jeff Hein, NREL
  • USDA's Rural Utilities Service Program, George Shultz, USDA
  • Transmission Infrastructure Program, Theresa Williams, Western
  • Question and Answer Session

Audio and text versions of the webinar are available (WMV 15.5 MB) Download Windows Media Player. Time: 01:01:22. Text Version (PDF 142 KB) Download Adobe Reader.

Save the date for future webinars

—Julie Jones