ORIGINAL REPORTING: New Transmission Vital To Sustain Record Wind Growth
Wind industry to Trump: Transmission vital to sustain record growth; Builders want the administration to see power lines as vital national infrastructure, and having Rick Perry at DOE may help
Herman K. Trabish, Dec. 15, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The wind energy boom continues though it may be threatened by the Energy Department’s misguided study of grid reliability.
If the Trump administration is serious about rebuilding U.S. infrastructure, it needs to take a good look at the nation’s electron superhighway, say advocates for the country’s wind industry. Thanks to declining prices and federal incentives, wind builders appear to be entering a boom that could last into the 2020s. Wind projects currently under construction or in advanced development represent 20,280 MW of new U. S. capacity. New construction has averaged 15% quarter-over-quarter growth since the extension of the federal production tax credit (PTC) at the end of 2015.
The boom is also supported by technology advances that have driven the levelized cost of wind energy-generated electricity down. New grid integration techniques have allowed U.S. system operators to achieve record wind penetration levels throughout 2016. With all this in place, one of the few doubts is whether transmission will be adequate to deliver electricity generated at remote windy locations to where the demand is. An emerging trend is new build taking advantage of transmission upgrades put in place over the last two years and new transmission will be key to delivering the potential now being developed. Some of the nation’s biggest utility power providers say they are already investing to help capture that potential… click here for more