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Inadequate transmission blocks necessary clean energy projects

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent, Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 755 items added with 372,789 views
  • Feb 9, 2021
  • 423 views

The hesitancy of utilities and governments to fund repairs and improvements to the country's aging transmission infrastructure has snowballed into what seems like a problem—a catastrophe in some parts of the country—too big to solve.

PG&E's reluctance to address the aging wires that spark fires is well-documented. But more recently, the Natural Resources Defense Council has called out the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator, MISO, for its reluctance to buy-in on interstate projects the group claims is necessary to handle the levels of renewable energy states such as Michigan claim it needs. MISO's footprint extends from Manitoba, Canada, down through Michigan, across several mid-western states, and all the way down to Louisiana. 

According to a report from Michigan's NPR station, lack of adequate transmission has left 42 clean energy projects on the table since 2016, because the interstate transmission network in place could not support the additional power. 

Interstate transmission is going to be crucial this next decade to help the country, regions and states reach their clean energy goals. Reports have surfaced over the last year that much renewable potential is left on the table because the solar and wind energy produced in some parts of the country cannot reach the country's regions that need it most. U.S. President Joseph Biden's energy plan includes heavy investments in transmission but the projects need to be prioritized and receive buy-in from the communities over which the lines will have to stretch. 

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 10, 2021

"According to a report from Michigan's NPR station, lack of adequate transmission has left 42 clean energy projects on the table since 2016, because the interstate transmission network in place could not support the additional power. "

That's one way to look at it. Here's another:

"According to a report from Michigan's NPR station, excessive demands on transmission have stalled 42 renewable energy projects since 2016. Those living in the way of transmission towers apparently didn't believe the empty promise of renewable energy was worth hosting a forest of industrial crap in their backyards."

Christopher Neely's picture
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