Report: Underwater transmission line between U.S. and Puerto Rico in the works.
- Jan 3, 2023 6:10 pm GMT
According to a recent report, South Carolina-based Alternative Transmission Inc. is preparing to propose an up to $6 billion underwater transmission line between the U.S. east coast and the island state of Puerto Rico, which has suffered major energy issues over the last five years.
The report says the transmission line could bring more than 2 GW of mainland U.S.-generated electricity to Puerto Rico. This could be a significant step forward for Puerto Rico, whose power grid issues were brought to global headlines in 2017 after Hurricane Maria knocked out power to the island. It was 11 months before power was restored to the entire island. Natural disasters in the years since have also knocked out power for extended periods.
The company, Alternative Transmission Inc., has allegedly asked the FERC to confirm that the transmission line would not put Puerto Rico's power grid under the federal agency's jurisdiction. The FERC's decision is pending, and it will be interesting to see whether the FERC claims that the power line means Puerto Rico's energy system would be thrust under the purview of the U.S. government. If the FERC says Puerto Rico's grid remains independent, that could mean a lot of Texas's ability to connect transmission lines to out-of-state power generators. Texas's power independence became a major talking point following the winter storm that nearly took out the state's grid.
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