Planning Principles

TANC’s Planning Principles for Transmission Projects

The Transmission Agency of Northern (TANC) was formed in 1984 to assist its publicly‐owned member utilities1 to address electric power transmission needs in a coordinated manner.

Once TANC members have identified the need for additional transmission, TANC embraces the following seven (7) principles to a) guide its participation in regional and statewide planning efforts and b) establish rules of engagement in the pursuit of resource and transmission solutions:

1. Participate in and promote joint planning efforts

TANC will work with other transmission owners to jointly study and plan for Northern California’s future transmission needs. This will include participation on sub‐regional transmission planning organizations, such as the California Transmission Planning Group (CTPG) and WestConnect. In addition, TANC will work with transmission owners to explore regional solutions that will meet the requirements of its Member utilities.

2. Provide access to information for interested parties

TANC will provide interested parties access to information regarding transmission planning efforts, and, if appropriate, potential transmission projects. TANC will use its Web site to provide background information about transmission planning and potential future projects. Should TANC become involved in any specific projects, it will work diligently to enable interested parties to understand what is being proposed, and to respond to inquiries on a timely basis.

3. Minimize impacts from future transmission facilities

While working with others as part of the planning process, TANC will minimize the impacts of transmission development by adhering to the following project development hierarchy, from highest to lowest priority, as available to TANC:

  • Upgrade existing facilities by employing cost‐effective, more efficient technologies;
  • Use existing transmission rights‐of‐way (ROW);
  • Expand existing ROW;
  • Use existing or designated transportation or utility corridor;
  • Use adjacent ROW; and
  • Use new ROW.

TANC will also explore other opportunities to further reduce the impact of future facilities that may be planned or developed by others. Finally, TANC will ensure that no homes or permanent structures (e.g., schools, garages, and swimming pools) will be within a planned transmission ROW.

4. Interact with elected leaders and organized constituencies within the community

When TANC is involved in the development of a future transmission project, TANC will use its best efforts to consult with community leaders and organizations, before and during the planning process. When appropriate, TANC will help form committees of community members who, among them, would be: a) impacted by or benefit from a project; b) empowered to represent key sectors of the community, and; c) accountable to their own constituencies. If necessary, TANC will engage an independent party with the necessary skills and integrity to facilitate community dialogue, identify areas where there might be common ground, and make efforts to bring community leaders and organizations together to jointly resolve issues.

5. Meet federal, regional, and California utility requirements

In planning for its future transmission needs and in the development of any future project, TANC will comply with all federal, state, and regional utility requirements for transmission planning and development. This includes, but is not limited to, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requirements on transmission planning and open‐access for transmission customers; Western Electricity Coordinating Council requirements for electricity reliability standards and transmission corridor limitations; and California requirements regarding transmission‐line siting and permitting.

6. Evaluate all viable technologies

TANC will explore all viable technologies, including alternating and direct current technologies, voltage levels, high temperature conductor applications, undergrounding alternatives, and other viable higher ‐capacity transmission technologies. With regard to future projects, TANC will also explore viable technologies for tower design, system configuration, and substation layout.

7. Recognize private property rights

TANC will work with affected property owners to acquire the needed property rights (easements or ownership) to survey, assess impacts, access, construct, operate, and maintain transmission lines. When obtaining needed property rights, TANC will compensate affected property owners for the reasonably determined impacts in accordance with TANC’s legal obligations, based on the fair market value of the affected property. TANC will work with all affected property owners to coordinate any transmission construction related activities to minimize short‐term impacts to land uses, including agriculture.


1 TANC Member utilities include: Alameda, Biggs, Gridley, Healdsburg, Lodi, Lompoc, Modesto Irrigation District, Palo Alto, Plumas‐Sierra REC, Redding, Roseville, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Santa Clara, Turlock Irrigation District, and Ukiah.

Approved May 19, 2010