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Tag: transmission

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 the comment was made in an off-the-record setting, I filed it and moved on until substantial Read more [...]
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 (ESS) as a necessary component of the smart grid architecture for renewable energy. And they're right Read more [...]
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 further established and tasked a NEMA ESC Technical Committee (Stationary Read more [...]
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 scope, need, and challenge that merited an increase in rate recovery, and that the project utilized advanced technologies Read more [...]
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 new transmission line. Advanced technology can make more efficient use of existing facilities and corridors. Real-time transmission Read more [...]
You Can’t Get There From Here

You Can’t Get There From Here

Many people would agree that renewable energy is a good thing.  Getting electric utilities to rely less on coal and natural gas to fire plants would reduce one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions in the US.  There is a problem with this strategy – transmission.  As reported recently in the Washington Times, San Diego Gas & Electric wants to build a large solar power operation in the SoCal desert, but the current plan calls for a 150 mile high voltage transmission line that Read more [...]
Transmission For Renewables: Part 2

Transmission For Renewables: Part 2

This afternoon, the President spoke about climate change and tossed out a goodie to those who have been harping for years on the need to build transmission to connect renewables. It’s great to have recognition from the top validating efforts on the ground, which leads us to the next project in this quazi-series. The Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project consists of eleven segments that will connect anticipated wind farms to the Southern California Edison system. The Tehachapi segments Read more [...]
Transmission Lines for Renewables Part 1: Southwest Minnesota

Transmission Lines for Renewables Part 1: Southwest Minnesota

Back in 2003, the Minnesota PUC approved a series of transmission upgrades requested by Xcel energy. In order to credibly ensure that the transmission was in fact used for renewables (and not just cover for routine expansion) the PUC conditioned the project on Xcel entering into contracts with wind farms in tandem with the completion of the lines. The Southwest Minnesota lines are under construction and in several instances substantially complete. In many respects this project represents the success Read more [...]
Transmission Lines for Renewables

Transmission Lines for Renewables

Texan ratepayers may have received a jolt yesterday from a potential $6.4 billion price tag for transmission lines to connect wind generators. The wind blows where the wind blows and so on and so forth for ocean tides and sunshine, but those places aren’t always where the load is. If we are to derive a significant portion of our electricity from renewables, more transmission will need to be built to deliver that energy. Which gets us to the chicken-or-egg dilemma for renewables: generators won’t Read more [...]