Solving the 'chicken and the egg' problem of enhanced generation and robust transmission capacity
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- Nov 18, 2020 11:36 am GMTNov 18, 2020 3:19 am GMT
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In a recently published, in-depth white paper, the Business Network of Offshore Wind pulls research and case studies together to try and give recommendations on how the U.S. offshore wind industry would handle the "chicken and the egg" problem of enhancing electricity generation and building greater transmission capacity. The report states that the offshore wind questions plaguing the East Coast are the same questions faced by regions and countries that have wanted to integrate remotely generated energy from renewable sources.
The report says the east coast of the U.S. faces some hurdles with offshore wind if it cannot put together a robust, interregional energy transmission plan. The Business Network of Offshore Wind offers six recommendations in developing such a strategy:
- Integrated transmission should weigh all benefits
- Transmission planning should incorporate public policy requirements
- Plan proactively
- Plan for a longer time horizon
- Quantify all benefits
- Better synchronize inter-regional planning
According to the report, there is no centralized effort focused on the transmission requirements of a strong offshore wind power market on the east coast U.S., but that state governments, the U.S. Dept. of Energy and U.S. Congress could and should collaborate.
"The U.S. Department of Energy, along with national energy laboratories, could collaborate with FERC to fill this gap and provide technical research and play a critical convening role with stakeholders across states and RTOs," the report said. "Potential studies include analyzing the benefits of different scales and configurations of transmission expansion, quantifying how expanded transmission can reduce capacity and energy costs by capturing inter-regional diversity in electricity supply and demand, and finding solutions that minimize the total cost of onshore and offshore transmission."