Transmission and wind energy
Upgrading and expanding our nation’s aging transmission grid, as well as improving use of the current grid, will enable wind energy deployment at an even larger scale than exists today. Beyond deploying more renewable energy, such improvements to the grid lower costs to consumers by reducing congestion and providing access to lower-cost generation plants. Upgrading and expanding the grid also reduces the frequency of blackouts, along with their significant economic cost and inconvenience.
This short video from Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, a pro-transmission coalition supported by AWEA and others, explains how those who run the transmission grid help keep the nation’s lights on by using a diverse set of energy generation resources, like wind energy.
AWEA’s key areas of focus on transmission are:
- Cost allocation
- Grid operations/integration of renewable energy/reliability
- Federal Power Marketing Administrations (Bonneville Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration etc.)
- Siting of power lines
Learn the basics of how the transmission grid works, and how it can use wind power, with Transmission 101.
How AWEA is improving transmission
Because transmission is crucial to wind power development, AWEA is working with federal regulators on how transmission is planned and paid for. AWEA’s progress indicates that when all of the near-term transmission projects are built, enough new wind energy project locations would open up to double the amount of wind installed across the U.S.
In 2012 AWEA represented the wind energy industry in several forums related to integrating wind energy into the grid to ensure fair treatment for renewable energy and limit costs.
In 2009, AWEA and our counterparts in the Solar Energy Industries Association released a transmission vision paper. While significant achievements have occurred in some of the areas detailed in the paper, notably on planning transmission and establishing policies on who pays for the costs of upgrading and expanding the grid, a lot more work needs to be done.
Get involved: Join the AWEA Transmission Committee
AWEA’s Transmission Committee was created by, and reports directly to, the AWEA Board of Directors. The committee directs AWEA’s filings at federal agencies, on grid operator stakeholder processes, and at NERC. Through weekly email updates, in-person meetings, and conference calls and webinars, the committee also serves as a network for information sharing on key policy, business and technical issues, and developments.
Transmission and grid operations are increasingly imposing costs on the wind energy business. Yet, there are also business opportunities for those who understand this sector. Involvement in AWEA’s Transmission Committee will put you in a position to influence policies that can impact your company’s profitability and to learn about developments that can help you grow your business.
For information on how to get involved, email Tom Vinson.