Transmission Planning Studies for the Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Process

Nathan Lee, Clayton Barrows

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Transmission planning studies help practitioners identify the most attractive transmission options to cost-effectively connect Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) to load while sustaining the balance between generation and demand in a variety of potential operating conditions and yielding the most benefits at minimum cost. This document focuses on the transmission planning studies of the REZ Transmission Planning process to help practitioners understand the analyses involved in studying potential transmission upgrade and expansion options, the general data requirements, and the associated modeling considerations. The REZ process is an approach to plan, approve, and build transmission infrastructure that connects REZs - geographic areas that have high-quality RE resources, suitable topography and land-use designations, and demonstrated developer interest - to the power system. The REZ process helps to increase the share of solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, and other resources while also maintaining reliability and economics.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-71005


  • grid integration of renewable energy
  • renewable energy zones
  • REZ
  • transmission expansion planning
  • transmission planning


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