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ACEG Releases Report Identifying 36 “Shovel-Ready” Transmission Projects

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Staff Writer, Energy Central, BrightGreen PR

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  • Sep 14, 2023

To meet the challenges of the future, the USA's transmission network needs to be upgraded. In a new report the non-profit Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) identifies 36 high-capacity transmission projects that could be implemented in the near term. If completed, they would add 187 gigawatts of renewable resources to the grid. Other benefits include lower costs to consumers, emission reduction and job creation.

This is an update to their earlier 2021 report “Transmission Projects Ready to Go”. The authors of the report delineate negative parameters as well as positives due to the many challenges that hinder transmission; they expect less than half of these projects will actually proceed to construction in the coming years without policy reforms that improve how transmission is permitted and funded in the United States.

“The projects identified in this report will deliver major benefits for American consumers by helping them to access cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy,” said ACEG Executive Director Christina Hayes. “It’s encouraging to see lines that have been in the works for years finally start to move forward, but way too many are facing years-long delays, and we are still taking a piecemeal approach to expanding transmission. Our grid is a public good that all Americans rely on. We have to proactively build out an interconnected transmission network that is capable of meeting our long-term needs.”

ACEG/Grid Strategies’ earlier 2021 report identified 22 “shovel-ready” projects, and the expansion to 36 in this edition largely represents expanded market interest in transmission. These projects represent responses to different infrastructure needs.

Ten of the 22 projects identified in 2021 have since begun construction, a positive signal of progress. Federal permitting approvals have been instrumental to this success, and these lines are expected to add approximately 20,000 MW of new generation to the grid. Relative to other projects that have not yet progressed, however, these ten had an easier path to recovering their costs, for example because a specific generator subscribed to the line to transport their resources or because state regulators were able to allocate the costs of a smaller-scale line to ratepayers.

“While it is promising that transmission lines from discrete generation resources to discrete utility off-takers have been able to move forward, what the U.S. really needs is a comprehensively-planned network of transmission that moves energy from region to region in a way that’s cost effective and reliable,” said report lead author Zachary Zimmerman.


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