Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources FERC Oversight Hearing Discusses Reconductoring

Reconductoring with Advanced Conductors and other Grid Enhancing Technologies (“GET’s”) was a topic of exchange (on May 4th, 2023) at the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing with the sitting Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners (FERC) with the Honorable Willie Phillips, Chair. First, Senator Heinrich (D-NM) asked about the role of reconductoring in transmission since “reconductoring dramatically increases throughput, line losses are reduced, and it improves the economics” for consumers “helping them with their economic challenges.” “Reconductoring and Grid Enhancing Technologies,” he added, “have huge potential to relieve some of this transmission congestion while you do the hard work of getting transmission built across the country.” Chairman Phillips responded, “You are preaching to the choir when talking about grid enhancing technologies and advanced reconductoring!  It addresses every single point that I raised: affordability, reliability, and sustainability.” Senator Heinrich interjected, “it actually aligns those things!” “YES! THANK-YOU!” Chairman Phillips replied. “It is top of mind for me!”

A few minutes later, Senator King (I-ME) raised the issue of transmission development priorities. “I hope that the FERC will encourage reconductoring and technological smart grid enhancements before having to go to new right-of-ways. I know that’s going to be necessary, but it seems to me that the structure should be, let’s start with the cheaper stuff first before we go to total expansion.” “Absolutely!” Chairman Phillips replied. “I believe that Grid Enhancing Technologies like advanced reconductoring, dynamic line rating, and ambient air line rating, these are the things that are essential to planning for our future.” Senator King then followed up with, “Can you enforce that? Can you ask an applicant that comes forward with a new right-of-way, can you ask: “Have you done the other less expensive and less intrusive steps first?” Chairman Phillips answered, “We are considering proposals just as you said, Senator, in our Regional Transmission Planning proceeding. It is something we should discuss! I am open to it!” Senator King ended his question session encouraging the FERC Commissioners to acknowledge and take seriously the queue process “bottleneck.” “Work on those queues at the RTOs…will you!”

Reconductoring with Advanced Conductors on existing structures is the fastest, lowest cost way to add substantial capacity to the electric grid. CTC Global’s ACCC® Conductor is the most widely deployed Advanced Conductor worldwide with over 140,000 km installed at more than 1,100 projects in 65 countries.

Link to the Hearing

Sen Heinrich starting at 1:16

Sen King starting at 1:25

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