Transmission is much more than power lines. It brings energy from large, utility-scale wind and solar farms – as well as small, on-site rooftop solar projects – to the wholesale market. It ensures the reliability of electricity. It creates the infrastructure for a “smart grid” that encourages demand-response and energy efficiency. It prevents blackouts on hot summer days.
New major interstate transmission lines are a double-edged sword for clean energy development. 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 lifelines to the Midwest’s stock of old, dirty coal plants. What’s more, these new lines can cut through special, sensitive places like national forests or critical prairies, and they can come at a high cost to consumers.
What is ELPC Doing?
ELPC’s vision is to build a wholesale electricity grid that supports and properly values clean, renewable energy and demand-side management. Doing this requires an expert understanding of what needs to be built, where it shsould be constructed, and the true value of renewable energy, energy efficiency and demand response. ELPC’s work involves expert legal analysis and advocacy with regional grid operators as well as with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.