Transmission might be the least interesting part of the energy transition. It is also one of the most important lynch pins of the energy transition as transmission improvements tie together new, but remote renewables and consumers. I covered this in an earlier article: The Energy Transition has a Distribution Problem. Back then I wrote:
“Despite rooftop solar’s breakneck growth, big swaths of the US will continue to be served by a utility-scale generation source. And renewable energy’s greatest inputs (wind, solar) are generally most abundant outside of key metropolis areas – see the graph below and the wind speeds in the middle of the country! Ultimately, we are going to need structural changes to our transmission system. And we suspect that digital solutions will play a big role in that change, just as these digital solutions positively impacted the cost curves for solar & wind costsThe Energy Transition has a Distribution Problem
Massive investment into laying cross-country and cross-continent fibre enabled the internet revolution. Similarly, adding new, digitally-enabled transmission superhighways will accelerate our renewable revolution.
Xcel Power Pathway
Yesterday, Xcel announced a plan to build 560 miles of new transmission to bring lower cost, renewable power from rural wind and solar sites all the way into cities. This is a $1.7 billion project and I suspect we will see MANY more of these announcements over the coming years. We will all win with these new build-outs….
“Investments in our transmission systems increase grid capacity, strengthen reliability, help us continue our clean energy transition. This new transmission line will support our vision to reduce carbon emissions and deliver 100% carbon-free energy by 2050.”Alice Jackson, president, Xcel Energy-Colorado