In January, the U.S. DOE posted the “Building a Better Grid” Initiative in the Federal Register which is designed to support massive grid expansion and modernization. Considering the Initiative anticipates the need to increase transmission capacity by 60% over the next 8 years (by 2030) and by as much as 300% by 2050, CTC Global, supported by a number of other entities, asked Grid Strategies to consider ways Advanced Conductors can help achieve these goals and propose specific actions that should expeditiously be taken by FERC, DOE, Utility Planners, and State Regulators.
While the Report acknowledges the need to build many new transmission lines, it also describes the critical need to substantially increase the capacity of the existing grid. Reconductoring with Advanced Conductors such as ACCC® Conductor is an excellent solution because ACCC can be installed quickly and cost effectively without the need to replace or upgrade existing structures that would otherwise require more time, present more permitting challenges, and tie up crews and equipment for longer timeframes.
The Report concluded that if only 25% of the 200,000+ miles of transmission lines greater than 50 years old can be replaced over the next decade, then 270 GW of additional renewable generation can be connected to the grid. This effort would reduce CO2 emissions by 2.8 billion metric tons and would save consumers over $140 billion dollars over the decade.
Some of the Report’s key recommendations include:
1) Expanding planning scenarios to consider the possibility of additional new renewable generation assets.
2) Establishing transmission conductor efficiency standards.
3) Consider Advanced Conductors as a priority for select Power Marketing Administration (PMA) projects and for other projects which DOE supports via grants, loans, or other financing mechanisms.
4) Shift project evaluations by utilities and regulatory authorities from “least cost” to “maximum net benefits” when reviewing project options.
CTC Global thanks Grid Strategies and other companies that supported this very enlightening and important work. Please take a look at the Report and all of its Key Recommendations.