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Dave Bryant's picture
Director Technology CTC Global

Director Technology, CTC Global Corporation. Co-Inventor of ACCC Conductor and ancillary hardware

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  • Jun 2, 2022
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This really puts the magnitude of the "who pays for grid upgrades" challenges in perspective. Fortunately many utilities are taking a proactive approach and using advanced conductors such as ACCC to increase grid capacity at the lowest possible cost, shortest timeframes and fewest environmental and permitting challenges. 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 2, 2022

This is a major task on a generational scale, so it's frustrating when it gets slowed down by finger pointing about footing the bill. It seems like the initial grid was able to get built much more easily than simply modernizing and upgrading it today!

Ed Reid's picture
Ed Reid on Jun 8, 2022

The initial grid was built by the utilities, which also built the generation which fed the grid and the distribution network fed by the grid. They were able to plan and control the entire process and their state utility commissions were prepared to oversee the process. The generators were typically larger than recent wind and solar generation installations and could be sited convenient to the existing grid. The generators were also dispatchable, as opposed to the intermittent nature of wind and solar, which drastically complicates grid management. Building wind and solar generation as dispatchable generation (including storage) would greatly simplify grid design going forward, but that would significantly increase the installed cost of wind and solar generation facilities and thus their delivered cost per kWh.

John Simonelli's picture
John Simonelli on Jun 9, 2022

Good job of highlight all the issues but the "fix" is still too elusive and time is of the essence.

Ed Reid's picture
Ed Reid on Jun 10, 2022

If "time is of the essence", it is only because of the arbitrary schedules the Administration has established for zero CO2 from electric generation by 2035 and net zero by 2050, not because of any "climate crisis", "climate emergency", or "existential threat". Those are the conclusions of political science, not climate science.

Additional renewable generation, absent appropriate storage, is redundant generation, capable of displacing (but not replacing) conventional generation. Redundant generation increases system cost and intermittent generation increases grid complexity. Storage could compensate for intermittency, but also at increased cost.

It would help if we KNEW that the "solution" was really a solution. Today, we don't.

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