This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Report: Electric Utilities Investing Billions in Transmission
The U.S. electric utility industry invested $6.9 billion in transmission projects in 2006, and members of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) plan to invest another $38.1 billion from 2007 to 2010, according to a new EEI report. This represents a 60% increase above the amount invested from 2003 to 2006. EEI is the association of shareholder-owned U.S. electric companies and represents about 70% of the U.S. electric power industry. The EEI report notes that transmission lines are being added for a variety of reasons, and one is to connect remote renewable energy resources to the electrical grid.
The report specifically notes that EEI members are building the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, which includes more than 250 miles of new and upgraded high-voltage transmission lines to support renewable generation development in California. They are also building the Southwest Minnesota Wind Expansion Project, which involves installing about 220 miles of new transmission lines and upgrading 300 miles of existing transmission lines to deliver more than 800 megawatts of wind resources to the electrical grid. The EEI report includes detailed descriptions of each transmission project. See the EEI press release and the full report.