The WIRES Group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, and more than a dozen other companies, utilities, and advocacy organizations joined Americans for a Clean Energy Grid this month in calling for policy reforms to expand and modernize the nation’s high voltage electric transmission system. Seventeen companies and organizations expressed their support for comments submitted this month by ACEG to the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review. ACEG’s comments made the strong case that a robust and modern high voltage transmission network is indispensable to fully developing America’s vast renewable energy resources and to make the grid more efficient, reliable, and secure.
- High voltage transmission expansions and upgrades deliver diverse benefits by making the grid more reliable, secure, and resilient, giving consumers broad access to diverse low cost, low carbon resources, and enabling efficient and competitive electricity markets.
- “Transmission first” policies are key to achieving rapid, large scale development of high quality and cost-effective renewable energy resources.
- Defining renewable energy zones, using information to anticipate and avoid resource conflicts, and engaging stakeholders can reduce the environmental impacts of essential transmission investments and expedite their approval.
- Optimizing operation of the transmission system delivers economic, reliability and environmental benefits at low additional cost.
- Updating market rules will remove barriers to the full utilization of the high voltage network.
- Transmission planners should fully consider all cost effective demand side and distributed resources (e.g. energy efficiency, distributed generation, demand response, storage, and distribution system upgrades) to ensure that transmission investments are efficient, coordinated and supported by customers.
- Inadequate high voltage transmission is already constraining renewable energy development and making it less efficient.
- The most critical interstate and interregional transmission investments are proceeding too slowly to meet national economic and environmental goals.
President Obama established the QER in January to: “provide an integrated view of, and recommendations for, Federal energy policy in the context of economic, environmental, occupational, security, and health and safety priorities.” The first QER report will focus on challenges facing the Nation’s energy infrastructures, and is expected to be available by end of the year.
Here’s the full list of supporters of ACEG’s QER comments as of October 23rd, 2014:
- Sustainable FERC Project
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Berkshire Hathaway Energy
- American Wind Energy Association
- Wind on the Wires
- Fresh Energy
- Clean Line Energy Partners
- Climate & Energy Project
- Center for Rural Affairs
- Western Resource Advocates
- Brightman Energy
- CTC Global
- Great Plains Institute
- Lucky Corridor
- RES Americas
- Iberdrola USA, Inc.