FERC defines "transmission siting fatigue" as:
Transmission siting fatigue is the idea that, after a transmission line is sited and permitted in an area, it will be significantly more difficult to get an additional transmission line sited and permitted in that same area.
- Regulatory concerns - A state public utility commission will begin to look skeptically at multiple projects vying for permission to accomplish very similar goals.
- Environmental concerns - Multiple new rights of way through environmentally sensitive areas are going to cause trouble with Big Green.
- Urban areas - There's only so much open land available in urban areas. Having it all clogged up with multiple transmission lines means there may not be room for more!
Let's add to that list, shall we?
In the past, opposition groups would rise up when transmission was proposed. But after the immediate, personal threat to each individual was ameliorated, interest would fall away, and the momentum and assembled knowledge would be lost. This is why routing changes were often effective tools for transmission developers, because with each new route, new opponents would have to start all over again with the education and organization process. With each new route, the time available for the opposition becomes shorter, and, like a game of hot potato, someone finally ends up with the transmission line on their land.
But that was then, this is now.
Because of "transmission siting fatigue" and today's quick and easy sharing of information via the internet, transmission opposition no longer has to re-invent the wheel each time a transmission route threatens. "NIMBY" is no longer part of the game and opponents from many different projects have joined forces against their common enemy.
The growing transmission opposition knowledge base can easily be accessed to jump start new opposition groups, and effective opposition strategies can be quickly passed from one group to the next. Nothing draws kindred souls together like the threat of eminent domain and new transmission rights of way. Opposition is a brotherhood, a private club, a state of mind that outsiders don't understand. We are one cohesive unit.
Transmission siting fatigue is everywhere and can no longer be avoided. It's here to stay!