On Thursday, October 21, the National Clean Energy Transmission Initiative (NCETI) hosted its second major forum on clean energy transmission in Des Moines, Iowa. Co-hosted with the Iowa Environmental Council, ITC Holdings, Wind on the Wires, the American Wind Energy Association, Fresh Energy, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the forum brought together state and federal lawmakers, industry leaders, environmental and renewable energy advocates, and member of the public to learn more about how clean energy transmission can help revitalize the struggling Midwestern economy while simultaneously helping to protect the environment.
The forum convened experts from around the country to discuss expanding and modernizing the electrical grid, a necessity for linking remote renewable resources like wind from the Great Plains to the cities and towns where people live. Panelists discussed topics ranging from economic growth and revival, to environmental protection and conservation, to overcoming barriers to increased clean transmission.
Senator Tom Harkin opened the forum with a keynote address on the need to make Iowa a leader in renewable wind power, stating that it is both an economic and an environmental imperative to develop Iowa’s abundant wind resources. He emphasized that Iowans are developing a thriving wind turbine manufacturing industry, as well as a nation-leading wind power generation industry.
Roya Stanley, Director of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, honed in on the economics of clean energy in her presentation. She discussed the main benefits to Iowans and Midwesterners from increased wind energy, which include increased savings from the use of local renewable energy sources and increased revenues from the exportation of wind power to neighboring states. To fully develop Midwestern wind, however, Stanley emphasized the need for additional energy infrastructure to give the green light to the estimated 300,000 MW of wind projects that are currently on hold nationwide because of a lack of transmission.
NCETI is planning a number of additional transmission forums across the country, so bookmark our events page and stay tuned for a forum near you.
Watch videos from the event below:
To view speakers’ PowerPoint presentations, please click on the links below.
- Nathaniel Baer, Iowa Environmental Council
- Greg Heide, Iowa Farmers Union
- John Moore, Environmental Law and Policy Center
- Beth Soholt, Wind on the Wires
- Roya Stanley, Iowa Office of Energy Independence
- John Wachtler, Barr Engineering
- Brian Weber, Electric Transmission America