Some argue that gas pipelines might substitute … but … nothing will do away with the need for more transmission.
Thomas R. Kuhn is president of the Edison Electric Institute, the Washington-based association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric utilities that deliver nearly three-fourths of the nation’s electric power.
Our nation's transmission infrastructure is increasingly unable to meet new demands for power created by rapidly changing electricity markets. Although reliability protocols ensure against catastrophic failure, there is ample evidence today that the grid is too congested. The long, high-voltage lines and the big towers that carry electricity from power plants to distribution facilities, to our homes and our businesses, need upgrading and expansion.
The North American Electric Reliability Council says, "The nation is at ... a crisis stage with respect to reliability of transmission grids." The U.S. transmission system requires nearly $56 billion in new investment over the next 10 years to maintain the reliability of the grid, but only $35 billion will likely be invested, a recent study shows.