The US just came up with a plan to upgrade 100k miles of transmission lines in 5 years

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The White House just debuted a plan to expand the grid’s capacity by upgrading 100,000 miles of transmission lines over the next five years. 

The power sector can achieve this goal by deploying grid-enhancing technologies like high-performance conductors and dynamic line ratings that enable existing transmission lines to carry more power.

It’s a fast and cost-effective way to unlock hundreds of gigawatts of additional clean energy, increase grid reliability and resilience, reduce grid congestion, and cut energy costs.

Grid-enhancing technologies would be deployed on existing lines in tandem with building new lines.

To ensure 100,000-miles-in-five-years goal is achieved and to mobilize private and public sector leaders, the Biden administration has made funding available through the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) program for upgrades to existing transmission lines. Plus, the US Department of Energy today simplified the environmental review process for transmission line upgrades.

Julia Selker, executive director of the WATT Coalition, said:

Grid-enhancing technologies (GETs) are so inexpensive that they can be installed and paid for themselves within months by increasing transmission capacity.  

GETs put the goal of upgrading 100,000 miles of transmission lines in five years within reach – it’s high time that utilities and system operators embrace Dynamic Line Ratings, Advanced Power Flow Control, and Topology Optimization as the lowest-cost, fastest-to-deploy solutions to transmission capacity expansion.

Other grid upgrade initiatives the White House announced today include a final rule to make federal permitting of new transmission lines more efficient, which sets a standard two-year timeline, and up to $331 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for a new 285-mile transmission line that will carry more than 2 gigawatts (GW) of transmission capacity from Idaho to Nevada.

You can learn more about grid-enhancing technologies here.

Read more: Without a grid upgrade, US electrification can’t go forward. This company is helping to fix it


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