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Tag: transmission

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…

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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…

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Trimming Trees Trims Power Troubles

Trimming Trees Trims Power Troubles

Utilities need to trim trees around overhead power lines to minimize power outages that may occur during powerful storms due to falling branches.  Many times a utility’s tree trimming program runs into opposition from a locality’s tree canopy preservation policy.  A town wants to preserve its tree canopy and residents will vociferously complain that a utility “butchered” the tree in…

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Connecting the Dots in Waxman-Markey

Connecting the Dots in Waxman-Markey

Waxman-Markey will require 20% renewables by 2020. To see how that changes the power generation industry, I plotted the EIA’s business-as-usual case versus the HR 2454 requirements. How do we get from here, the EIA base case, to there, the 290% increase in  Waxman-Markey? To connect wind energy alone, the Department of Energy estimates that we will need 12,000 –…

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House Committee Seeks Ways to Modernize, Expand Grid

House Committee Seeks Ways to Modernize, Expand Grid

The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Friday to discuss the future of the transmission grid. As noted in this blog before, obtaining federal permits can sometimes be as time-consuming as coordinating between states. Rich Halvey from the Western Governors Association noted that the federal permitting process can take 5 to 10 years. Chairman Markey barely covered…

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A Little Ol’ Transmission Fable

A Little Ol’ Transmission Fable

At a meeting of western states on the subject of renewable transmission, one state official lamented that the major obstacle to new lines, in some specific cases, was the federal government itself, with disparate agencies creating multiple hurdles. I found the comment non-intuitive. Isn’t transmission siting primarily restricted by disagreements between states on cost recovery and a NIMBY mentality? Since…

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Fact Versus Fiction on Energy Storage Systems

Fact Versus Fiction on Energy Storage Systems

Often, important emerging technologies get caught up in misconstrued facts and misunderstandings of capacities and roles in an already technology-driven and confusing world. An example of this can be found in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, "Getting Real on Wind and Solar" by James Schlesinger and Robert Hirsch. It's great they included a reference to energy storage systems…

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Energy Storage Technology Is Vital For "Smart" Grid Efforts

Energy Storage Technology Is Vital For "Smart" Grid Efforts

NEMA is taking the lead in making Smart Grid and Energy Storage technologies a reality.  The NEMA Energy Storage Council (ESC) has held successful meetings where attendees have drafted a list of application categories that help define where Energy Storage (ES) and Distributed Generation (DG) technologies should play a role.  The NEMA ESC consisting of manufacturer, utility and government representative stakeholders…

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FERC Boosts Advanced Transmission Technologies

FERC Boosts Advanced Transmission Technologies

In one of the first cases to explicitly consider the use of advanced transmission technologies, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a 135 basis point rate adder for incorporation of an underground HVDC line, fiber-optic cables, and static var compensators into the proposed New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) line. FERC found that the NYRI met a “nexus test” of…

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The technology bridge for wind energy transmission

The technology bridge for wind energy transmission

Yesterday’s New York Times wrote about how the demand for wind generation is exceeding the transmission required to deliver that energy. While the article is correct that more wind can be integrated without new technology, intelligent systems (all part of the smart grid) could act as a bridge during the years to decades required to propose, permit, and construct a…

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