March 28, 2018 Read More →

Corporations’ Role Essential in U.S. Grid Modernization

S&P Global Market Intelligence:

As planned long-distance transmission lines falter in the United States, corporations must become more involved in the modernization of the power grid to meet their renewable-energy targets, a panel of experts said on March 27.

In the wake of the U.S. Department of Energy’s decision to back away from private developer Clean Line Energy Partners LLC’s troubled Plains and Eastern transmission line, “companies need to engage in the transmission planning process,” Stefani Millie Grant, senior manager for external affairs and sustainability at Unilever Corp., said during a webinar hosted by the Wind Energy Foundation.

The webinar presented a January 2018 report, commissioned by the foundation, that found that even as renewable energy generation capacity expands in the central U.S. and prices for electricity from wind and solar farms continue to fall, “customers’ access to this affordable energy is constrained by inadequate transmission planning.”

“Transmission planning fails to consider the rising tide of demand for renewable energy from corporate and large institutional customers,” said David Gardiner, president of David Gardiner and Associates, the Arlington, Va.-based consultancy that produced the report for the Wind Energy Foundation.

Utilities and grid operators tend to focus solely on renewable portfolio standards and other government mandates when calculating future demand for renewable energy, Gardiner said, ignoring the large and growing demand from corporations voluntarily setting clean-energy targets.

More ($): Seeking renewables, corporations face transmission constraints

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