The Case for New Transmission in the U.S.: Meeting the Need for Large-Scale Renewable Energy (2009)
The development of large-scale wind resources is currently hampered by the state of the transmission grid. Because the most promising wind resources are often located in areas geographically distant from load centers, additional transmission lines must be built before resources can be utilized. Currently, numerous efforts have been undertaken to compare the costs and benefits of new transmission investments. However, these efforts do not always produce data that is easily transferred to policy makers and constituents. In addition, such studies do not always consider other power generation options such as natural gas.Using data gathered from the on-going Joint Coordinated System Plan and other current transmission planning efforts, the master's project team created a simplified model intended for use by policy makers. This model identifies potential inflection points in which remote wind power plus transmission becomes cost competitive with natural gas plants. A greater understanding of current cost factors will allow for the pursuit of a wind-friendly political agenda. Also, due to the challenge of siting transmission lines through communities not benefiting from the produced power, a stakeholder analysis and potential benefit allocations will be discussed.
Laura Bruce, MBA/MS Environmental Policy & Planning
David Cieminis, MBA/MS Environmental Policy & Planning
Siobhan Doherty, MBA/MS Environmental Policy & Planning
Theodore Ludwick, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems