A new report from Grid Strategies and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid identifies 36 high-capacity transmission projects that could be ready to break ground in the near term and, if completed, would connect 187 gigawatts of renewable resources to the grid, create 3.3 million jobs, improve electric reliability, and lower electricity costs for consumers.
Americans for a Clean Energy Grid evaluated and ranked 10 U.S. regions on the strength of their transmission planning and development efforts.
A complex network of high-capacity transmission lines transport energy from where it is produced into our homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals. Multiple federal, state, and local authorities have the power to regulate transmission. ACEG explores how transmission is planned, how it is permitted, and who pays for it.
Transmission is critical to electric reliability, particularly as extreme weather becomes more frequents and demands on the grid due to electrification increase. High-capacity transmission allows regions to share energy in moments of need, which helps keep the lights on and reduce costs for household energy customers.
Increased transmission capacity is critical to improving grid reliability. Incremental interregional transmission enables higher generation diversity and access in the face of uncertainties like fuel or generation loss, transmission outages, and extreme weather events.
Marginalized communities that have long experienced high rates of energy insecurity and health impacts of pollution. Low-income communities and communities of color are significantly more likely to live near polluting power plants. Increased transmission can reduce pollution by replacing power sources like coal and oil with clean energy resources distributed via transmission. An expanded grid will also improve reliability, preventing power outages that disproportionately hit marginalized communities, and reduce personal energy costs.
There are many serious threats to the physical security of the U.S. electric grid, including cyberattacks, physical attacks, and extreme weather. Policymakers at the federal and state level should take action to protect American energy security by expanding our high-capacity transmission system.