Quantifying Siting Difficulty: A Case Study of U.S. Transmission Line Siting
The worldwide demand for new energy infrastructures has been paralleled in recent years by the increasing difficulty of siting major facilities. Siting difficulty is the subject of widespread discussion, but because of the complexity of the problem, potential solutions are not obvious or well understood. This paper presents a two-step policy-level framework that first develops an empirical measure of siting difficulty and then quantitatively assesses its major causes. The approach is based on the creation and aggregation of four siting indicators that are independent of the common causes and localized effects of siting problems. The proposed framework is demonstrated for the case of U.S. transmission line siting. Results of the analyses reveal significant variations in state siting difficulty and industry experts’ perceptions of its dominant causes, with implications for the long-term success of Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and knowledge transfer among siting professionals in the deregulated industry.
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