Transmission report from WIRES

Transmission and storage. Storage and transmission. Perhaps the major challenges standing in the way of making full use of the on-land wind resources in New York and beyond.

Enter a new transmission report.

Earlier this month an industry group fashioning itself WIRES (Working Group for Investment in Reliable and Economic Electric Systems) released a report that intends to be “a thorough exposition of the methods currently employed by various states, industry, and investors to integrate [] locationally-constrained resources [such as wind]  into the electric grid.”

It indicates a number of “most effective” practices. These are:

  • Regional transmission planning is crucial. That is, the grid upgrades should not just be state or local issues. 
  • The variability of wind and other resources can be diversified through regional operations and planning. Together with better forecasting, WIRES believes such practices can greatly enhance the ability, and reduce costs, of bringing more wind onto the grid. (The report cites a New York study on point.)
  • Appropriate cost allocation and cost recovery will contribute significatnly to promoting investment in needed transmission.
  • And The queue proceses now employed by RTOs [such as NYISO] constitute a critical “gating” issue that must be addressed before issues associatied with transmission access or dispatch can rise to an equivalent level of importance. (Note: NYISO is currently examining its queue procedures.)

The report concludes:

This Report [] highlights a major new challenge: how to efficiently interconnect and integrate into the grid the location-constrained and often-variable clean energy resources that have become the focus of so much domestic energy policy. This is particularly important at a time when the Nation is poised to increase its use of renewable and other location-constrained forms of electric generation and to target significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. WIRES believes this Report will be a significant contribution to meeting the need for clean energy through infrastructure enhancement.

The press release is here. Full report, “Integrating Locationally Constrained Resources Into Transmission Systems: A Survey of U.S. Practices” is here. WIRES Member Statements Before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Technical Conference on Transmission Barriers to Entry (October 14, 2008) is here.

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