History teaches us that the most successful American businesses emerge from the crucible of competition.
Edward Krapels is a partner on the development team of the 660-MW Neptune transmission project, which is under construction and will be in service in 2007. In 2005, he launched the independent transmission company, Anbaric Power LLC, which is developing a second major transmission project in the East. He is also a principal in the energy market consulting firm, Energy Security Analysis Inc. (ESAI). Contact him at email@example.com.
Important challenges still confront the development of a coherent strategy to create an efficient modern transmission system. Assuming the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Congress are earnest about creating a 21st century grid—the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and FERC’s frantic schedule of activity indicate they are—new transmission ideas, projects, and technologies need to emerge.
Transmission innovation, often thought to be an oxymoron, will flourish more fully in an environment where there is a competitive struggle. History teaches us that the most successful American businesses emerge from the crucible of competition, especially when there are well-designed “rules of the road.”
For new transmission ideas and opportunities to come forward, the planning processes of transmission utilities, independent system operators (ISOs), and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) must not be allowed to become instruments that bar entry—intentionally or unintentionally—to new transmission projects. However, as transmission owners and operators continue to develop new and improved ways to manage their operations, two areas emerge as barriers to the entry of new transmission projects: