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Tag: transmission corridors

Obama continues to push infrastructure bank

Obama continues to push infrastructure bank

A central policy recommendation touted by President Obama during his multistate bus tour this week is the creation of an infrastructure bank.   But does it make sense to be talking about a new government program while we are battling with the highest national debt ever?  In a word, yes.   Despite the unprecedented importance to our economy of bringing down our deficits and our debt, make no mistake that the federal government will continue to make decisions on Read more [...]
Feds leave court ruling on transmission unchallenged

Feds leave court ruling on transmission unchallenged

This week, the deadline passed for the federal government to appeal the February ruling by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which invalidated the establishment of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors.  These NIETCs were conceived in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and designed by the Department of Energy to streamline the regulatory landscape in two of the most congested regions of the country—the Southwest and the Mid-Atlantic.  If progress in these areas can be stymied, what Read more [...]
The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

George Carlin was made famous for his 7 Dirty Words.  But when it comes to meeting our electricity demands of the 21st century, we can add another word whose utterance should cause shock and outrage to the general public: NIMBY. NIMBY (“Not in My Backyard”) is the genesis for much of the opposition to various endeavors that would serve the public, such as improving the electrical grid. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has just released an updated report on the state of transmission Read more [...]
The president “has no clothes?”

The president “has no clothes?”

We all remember Hans Christian Andersen’s story about the emperor and his new clothes, right? He was swindled by two weavers into believing that his new suit is made of fabric that is invisible to those who are stupid. And so the emperor, wearing this new suit, goes out among his subjects, until one young boy cries out that he has no clothes. Well, isn’t that what is happening in the current debate about renewable energy? The president correctly advocates the production of renewable Read more [...]
Siting Transmission Corridors: A Real Life Game of Chutes and Ladders*

Siting Transmission Corridors: A Real Life Game of Chutes and Ladders*

Oh, for the simplicity of Chutes and Ladders! In the massive effort to attain energy independence by connecting vast renewable energy resources with energy-hungry population centers, power transmission lines are both the obstacles and the solution—the chutes and ladders—to success. Everyone wants to harness the energy from wind, sun, earth, and tides, but moving it can be tricky. Transmission corridors are the means by which energy moves from source to destination. They are integral Read more [...]
Lack of Transmission Siting Hinders Energy Independence

Lack of Transmission Siting Hinders Energy Independence

With little happening in Congress as the midterm elections loom large, our nation’s effort to modernize the electrical grid, create jobs by installing new technologies, and connect renewable generation to population centers is in jeopardy of stalling due to the lack of new electrical transmission siting.   Transmission lines are the lynch-pin that connects electricity from generation sites to our homes and businesses that use electricity.  But without a national transmission Read more [...]
Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”

Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”

For those of you who were hooked by the title, sadly this is the only sentence where Marty McFly will be mentioned.  But fear not, movie quotes are still in play. As mentioned in my last blog entry, commercial building retrofits present a very cost-effective option for reducing energy consumption and utility costs.  Not only are there existing federal, state, and utility incentive programs available for these energy efficient retrofits, but energy efficiency also presents America’s Read more [...]
Smart Grid and Video Games, Part II

Smart Grid and Video Games, Part II

Last May, I wrote about how Smart Grid was integrated into one of my favorite video games, The Sims 2. At the time, I questioned how Smart Grid technologies might be featured in the game’s sequel, The Sims 3. Well, there’s no job category for electrical engineers yet, and governor Sims don’t get to make decisions about transmission corridors, but soon, Sims will be able to drive around in electric cars. The game’s publisher, EA, just announced a product placement deal with Read more [...]
Even the Wind Farms are Bigger in Texas

Even the Wind Farms are Bigger in Texas

The turbines started turning on the world’s largest wind farm yesterday in Texas. According to an article from the AP, the 627 turbines cover 100,000 acres over four counties, with a record-setting capacity of 781.5 megawatts. I didn’t realize that Texas is #1 in wind generation in the U.S. (go here to check out a map showing wind generation by state). Interestingly, the land also functions as cotton fields.  The Dallas Morning News reported that a lack of transmission lines makes Read more [...]
Going BANANAs

Going BANANAs

The energy industry in this country has long struggled to find suitable locations for plants and resource development.  That's because for decades they've faced NIMBY -- community activists who put up roadblocks to ensure such efforts were "Not In My Back Yard."  But the politics of the 21st century has taken this activism to a new level.  Now we have BANANA -- nationwide activists that demand we "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. " Read more [...]