RAP works with the Western Governors’ Association on the Western Renewable Energy Zones (WREZ) project, which is funded by the US Department of Energy. The overall goal of the project is to develop areas in the Western US with vast, high-quality renewable resources and create a critical mass of transmission needs in the same timeframe for an efficient build-out of inter-state lines to deliver the energy where it is needed.
RAP interviewed 25 utilities, each western state utility commission, and the Alberta and British Columbia energy ministries about renewable resource planning, procurement, transmission, and other issues. The interviews were conducted to gain insight into how states and provinces could support development of concentrated, high-quality renewable resources for region-wide benefits.
RAP’s report on the interviews distills utility and regulator responses, highlights key issues and emerging ideas, and outlines barriers and potential solutions. RAP also facilitated discussion groups with utilities interested in the same zones, as well as regulators, to explore how to best develop these areas.