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  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014


    To Unlock Wind, Build Transmission Lines Linking the Plains to the Cities

    Robert Fares, July 22, 2014 (Scientific American)

    “…Like oil and gas resources, renewable energy regions are often located far away from major population centers…[and if] the requisite transmission infrastructure is not in place, a wind farm’s electricity output might have to be voluntarily turned down to avoid overloading what transmission lines do exist…[W]ithout the adequate transmission infrastructure in place, there is no way to bring wind energy from the plains to the cities, and wind will not produce at its full potential…[A] new transmission line can cost over $1 million per mile, and that’s for the equipment alone, before any of the NIMBY (not in my backyard) related costs that tend to plague major transmission projects. Moreover, unlike oil and gas pipelines, it’s impossible to control whose electricity is flowing on whose power line…For this reason, the cost of transmission lines is typically socialized, even where electricity market competition has been introduced. This is good for raising the capital required to build the transmission infrastructure we all need, but it can also introduce partisanship and bureaucracy, slowing the whole process down…[The Texas CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zones) transmission project [proves that while] new transmission lines may be costly, in many regions of the U.S. they are a required precursor to unlocking wind energy’s true potential…” click here for more


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