Another Hurdle for Black Hills Energy Project
- Dec 20, 2020 6:12 pm GMT
After about a year of deliberation, Pueblo County has given Black Hills Energy the green light to start building 39 miles of new transmission line. According to the utility, the project is necessary to provide cheaper rates and boost reliability. Not all their customers are sold on the idea, however. A group of residents from Pueblo West, a township in the county, are taking Pueblo County to court over the approval. The homeowners responsible for the appeal worry the new infrastructure will lower their homes’ values.
This is why transmission development lags behind in the USA. Nimbyisim combined with a regulatory system that allows relatively small groups of people to file appeals means projects like this take years to push through. Meanwhile, China and other Asian countries are leapfrogging us. I talked about this in a post last month:
“Since 2014, China has built 260 gigawatts of transmission capacity that has come on line or will in the next few years. In that same time frame, the United States has added just 3 gigawatts.”
This stagnation couldn’t come at a worse time: The country, and especially the fire-plagued West, need transmission development to facilitate this decade’s move towards renewables. Hopefully, the public wakes up and embraces transmission infrastructure before it’s too late.
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