NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Urgent Need For Planning New Transmission Now

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  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Rocky Mountain compromise: Inside Xcel's landmark Colorado solar settlement
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
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  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Way To Grow EVs
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    Wednesday, February 22, 2017

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Urgent Need For Planning New Transmission Now

    'Should have started yesterday': Why better transmission planning is urgently necessary for tomorrow's grid; The power mix is changing fast and it will cost ratepayers if transmission planners don’t catch up, according to a new report from the Brattle Group.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 15, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The Trump administration initiative to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure is a big opportunity for long-needed new transmission.

    An adage warns that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Transmission experts say system planners may be doing just that. As the U.S. moves toward a power mix with more renewable resources and flexible generation, transmission will be a key element in enabling the grid to handle the transition. Recent record-breaking renewable energy penetrations would have been impossible without aggressive transmission building in recent years. But building transmission lines is one of the most arduous, time-consuming tasks in the power sector, and so even as demand for a more diverse power mix intensifies, transmission buildout struggles to keep pace. A recent Brattle Group report warns that transmission planners are failing to prepare to meet the challenge of the transforming generation mix.

    Successful planning could save $30 to $70 billion in generation and transmission investments through 2030, researchers said. And a well-planned system could net U.S. ratepayers as much as $47 billion in savings annually. The long lead time in planning transmission lines means planning should start immediately to meet the evolving power mix and regulatory goals from 2020 to 2030. The current use of reliability as the primary measure of transmission value and planning leads to a segmented grid, deficient in the flexibility needed to manage the emerging generation mix. And the current transmission investment cycle is the first opportunity in a half-century to streamline the Balkanized system while controlling costs and environmental impacts… click here for more

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