New Industry Campaign Will Promote New Transmission and Grid Upgrades

A coalition of business leaders, clean energy advocates, and environmental organizations launched “Transmission Possible,” a new campaign that aims to build support at the local, state, and federal levels for building and upgrading America’s energy transmission infrastructure.

Transmission Possible is led by the industry association Advanced Energy United and includes the American Council on Renewable Energy, Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, the National Wildlife Federation, the Environmental League of Massachusetts, and the Northeast Clean Energy Council.

“Our antiquated power grid is in desperate need of upgrading. We’re launching this campaign to empower communities and leaders with the information they need to champion the building of a bigger and better power grid,” said Heather O’Neill, President and CEO at Advanced Energy United. “Transmission Possible is a campaign and a call to action. We are united in its our commitment to build a reliable and resilient energy system that will deliver the clean energy we need.”

Grid Modernization is an educational track at DISTRIBUTECH International set for Orlando, Florida, February 26-29, 2024. Join us at the leading annual transmission and distribution event that addresses technologies used to move electricity from the power plant through the transmission and distribution systems to the meter and inside the home!

The campaign will support four pillars of work:

  • Encouraging regional collaboration among states to plan transmission lines across state boundaries.
  • Endorsing state policies that encourage the buildout of transmission lines.
  • Supporting deployment of immediate solutions to grid congestion, including tools like high-performance conductors and grid-enhancing technologies.
  • Hosting a resource hub for decision-makers, stakeholders, and the public about the role of transmission in ensuring grid reliability and accelerating the transition to clean energy.

The campaign notes that in both the summer and winter of 2023, the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) warned that large swaths of North America could face energy shortages due to strain on fossil fuel power plants and aging transmission infrastructure, underscoring the urgency of upgrading regional energy grids. Even though there is enough clean energy in the development pipeline to reliably supply 80% of the country’s electricity, much of it is stuck in interconnection queues waiting for transmission infrastructure to catch up.

At the end of 2022, more than 2,000 GW of generation and storage were waiting in interconnection queues, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Last summer, FERC issued a final ruling in its quest to streamline generator interconnection and alleviate clogged queues across the U.S.

“Much of America’s transmission infrastructure was built in the 1950s and ‘60s, and even though the technology has come a long way since then, we really haven’t made any significant improvements to the grid in 70 years,” said Verna Mandez, Director at Advanced Energy United and overseeing Transmission Possible. “America and its energy needs are growing and building interregional transmission lines is the way we ensure we have a reliable power grid that cost-effectively delivers energy from where it’s generated to where it’s needed.”

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