United States

United States

Major transmission growth is essential for US plan

UNITED STATES: More transmission is "critical" if wind power is to reach the Obama administration's goal of a 20% US market share by 2030.

Texas grid is a model for growth
Texas grid is a model for growth

This was emphasised by Gabriel Alonso, outgoing chairman of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

He spoke during a general session at AWEA’s Windpower 2014 convention in Las Vegas, which closes today.

Texas’ success in building transmission should be a model for other areas of the US, noted Alonso, CEO of EDP Renewables North America.

"The case is there – Texas—so we just need to put the facts together and deliver the message," he added.

Of the 14GW under construction now in America, half is in Texas, he noted.

In Texas, some $6.8 billion in Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) transmission lines was completed in December and should deliver 18GW of wind.

Difficulty in allocating costs, especially inter-state, is the main barrier to more transmission elsewhere, he told reporters afterwards.

Texas was easier, he said, because state lawmakers were keen, and the lines were built and costs shared within one state and one transmission region.

"In some other states, it’s taking longer – we need to talk to [state] regulators," he concluded, as well as transmission operators and local legislators.

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