New major interstate transmission lines in the Midwest/Great Plains are a double-edged sword: On the one hand, they can provide additional needed delivery capacity for wind power and other new renewable energy development; on the other hand, they can provide enabling delivery capacity and lifelines of support for the continued operation of old Midwest highly-polluting coal plants (for example, to sell to higher-priced East Coast power markets).
The importance of new transmission capacity to support wind power development is relatively clear. There is a less obvious and equally important goal of relating transmission advocacy to spur the retirement of old, highly-polluting coal plants in the Midwest/Great Plains states. There is a very important set of strategic leverage points because of the structure of the Midwest/Great Plains power market in 2010 – 2020.
ELPC hosted a Midwest Transmission Strategy meeting in Chicago in April 2010. The meeting brought together Midwest environmental, clean energy and consumer leaders to develop strategies to address delivery capacity issues for wind power and other renewables as well as important cost-allocation issues for new transmission. Below are links to some of the resources shared at that conference.
Midwest Transmission Strategy Meeting
Presentations and Materials (April 2010)
Using Regional Energy Markets to Reduce Energy Demand and Costs
Webinar and Materials (September 28, 2010)
Transmission 102 Training (September 30, 2010)