Working to meet the growing demand from electric vehicles and building electrification

NextGen Highways is working to develop national and state-level coalitions advocating for new electric transmission infrastructure to be built in existing public rights of way (ROW) to meet the growing demand from electric vehicles and building electrification.

These national and state coalitions will work with interested private partners, elected officials and other policymakers to examine law or policy changes to help advance the co-location of society’s infrastructure.

NextGen Highways will build upon accomplishments as we advance the initiative nationally and across states.

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What we’ve accomplished

Minnesota DOT and Dept. of Commerce Listening Sessions on NextGen Highways

DOT and DOC are planning to host listening sessions with Minnesota utilities, transmission developers and independent power producers. Discussion about experience with siting in or along highway ROW and challenges and opportunities of doing so.

Publication: 2022

NextGen Highways Feasibility Study for the Minnesota Department of Transportation

The NextGen Highways Team worked with an internal working group at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to investigate the opportunities and barriers associated with locating buried high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission and fiber within the highway right-of-way (ROW).

The Study reviewed applicable policy, regulation, and projects; analyzed MnDOT-specific concerns; examined HVDC transmission line requirements; assessed buried HVDC cost and benefits; and broadly evaluated typical highway ROW design for suitability of HVDC transmission line siting.


Minnesota DOT Seminars on Transmission Siting in Wisconsin

MN DOT is hosting a series of presentations for a “Deep Dive” into Wisconsin’s experience siting and building electric transmission in highway ROW. Attendees are primarily staff of the DOT and Public Utilities Commission.

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and Dept. of Commerce Meeting on NextGen Highways

MN PUC and DOC hosted an open meeting with MN DOT and NextGen Highways to discuss the NGH concept. The three Commissioners attending expressed support for MN DOT further examining the value of co-locating energy infrastructure.

Minnesota DOT and Federal Highway Administration Peer Exchange

NextGen Highways presented its concept to 15 state DOTs at the Peer Exchange. All DOTs indicated an interest in further discussions and exploration of the co-location concept.

Publication: 2022

State of Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework

In the ‘What’s Next’ section of the Framework, under ‘Advancing Critical Policy and Programs,’ the report notes that Minnesota Dept. of Transportation will explore the opportunities and challenges of co-locating transmission in highway ROW. The reference is a direct result of the work MN DOT has done with NextGen Highways.


The State of Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), Transmission Corridors Work Group (TCWG) Final Report

Report delivered to the Office of Governor Inslee, the Washington State Legislature, and the public at large. The report summarizes the work of the TCWG, whose purpose was to review the need for upgraded and new electricity transmission and distribution facilities, find areas where transmission and distribution facilities may need to be enhanced or constructed, identify environmental review options that may be required to complete these corridors, and recommend ways to expedite the review of transmission projects without compromising required environmental and cultural protection.

The Report’s, Principals for Transmission System Planning, notes: Explore opportunities to use transportation rights-of-way for co-locating new transmission lines. It is important to consider the interplay of uses, transportation sustainability goals, and construction policies like “dig once” when co-locating transmission lines in transportation rights-of-way.