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‘Macro Grid Initiative’ Launched to Upgrade the Nation’s Transmission Network

(Credit: Pixabay)

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) today launched the “Macro Grid Initiative” to build support for expanding and upgrading the nation’s transmission network. A 21st century Macro Grid will deliver jobs and economic development, a cleaner environment, and lower costs for consumers.

According to the organizations, upgrading America’s transmission system is a cost-effective way to alleviate transmission congestion and better integrate new generation. Renewable energy growth continues to accelerate as a result of competitive prices, greater demand from corporate and residential consumers, and ambitious state renewable energy programs.

Support was provided from Breakthrough Energy, an organization founded by Bill Gates that is working to expand clean energy investment and innovation, the Macro Grid Initiative will undertake wide-ranging educational efforts in support of transmission expansion to connect areas with low-cost renewable resources to centers of high electric demand. This can be accomplished by connecting grid regions like MISO, PJM, and SPP.

Several recent studies have already shown the immense benefits of expanding the nation’s transmission grid. For example:

  • Expanding and upgrading interregional transmission lines would help electric utilities, corporate and institutional buyers, and other consumers meet carbon and clean energy goals by affordably and reliably integrating low-cost renewable resources. Enhanced transmission will also facilitate increased electrification and ensure grid reliability in the face of new patterns of electricity demand.
  • Increasing transmission development at the “seams” between regions could save consumers more than $47 billion and return more than $2.50 for every dollar invested.
  • A nationwide, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) network optimized for the nation’s best wind and solar resources could deliver 80% carbon emission reductions from the grid by 2030 without adding costs to consumers’ electric bills.

Achieving the Macro Grid vision will require new policies at the federal, regional, and state levels that recognize the substantial nationwide benefits of an inter-regionally connected transmission network.

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