There’s the Forbes article about American Wind Energy Ass (AWEA) advocating for this massive mess of new 765 kV lines.
Experts: Reducing Carbon Emissions and Increasing Grid Reliability are Doable
Experts? Ummmm, AWEA? No, they are NOT transmission experts, they are only expert in doing what their masters pay them to do. Here’s their “vision” from a couple of years ago:
Green Power Superhighways
Report – Update to the Superhighways report that AWEA’s Michael Goggin wrote in fall 2013.
In Minnesota, there’s one paralleling the CapX 2020 line, then another cutting the state in two from Big Stone to the Metro, and another from Split Rock to Adams along I-90. Who the hell do they think they are to advocate for this overkill of transmission? And note that in the Dakotas, as always, they start at the big coal plants. Infrastructure like this is the best way to assure coal never shuts down, adding capacity instead of shutting coal down and using that capacity. And if they do it this way, then they can run our coal plants forever. Oh, right… this is the plan AEP supports.
First and foremost, remember that this is about economics — money and profit from building transmission and providing transmission service — the grid IS electrically reliable, so says NERC in its latest State of Reliability 2013 Report:
And here’s the NERC Report (one should be due out soon, used to be October, but they’ve pushed it back):
2013 NERC Reliability Assessment
What strikes me is that so many are willing to believe that the electric grid is not “reliable” and are willing to attribute economic issues like “congestion” to claims that the system is not reliable. And then there’s their successful effort to shift cost allocation so that the generators no longer pay for transmission necessary to access and safely operate the grid. In the past, generators paid, but then in the gas plant surge over a decade ago, so many were built without transmission upgrades that we were in transmission deficit, evidenced in the 2001-2004 SW MN 345 kV Four Certificates of Need (MN PUC Docket 01-1958). Check this TLTG Table, click for a larger version:
For their 1-H option, the one that the enviros agreed to in this project, acquiesced to (remember, this was the project where they got a group together and asked “What would it take to support this project?”), the system starts out with a 1475 MW deficit. It’s not until they’ve fixed some long standing problems, such as the sagging Wilmarth line, and the FT. CALHOUN INTERFACE which is in the base case (!!!!), and after spending over $138 million including their wide ranging “base case” of necessary fixes, that they start actually adding some system capacity. DOH! Give me a break…
The real problem is failure to make those added generators pay for fixing the system impacts, and then the desire to add wind projects without making them pay for system impacts, and more importantly, of wanting to add wind on top of the existing coal generation, without removing the coal which would make plenty of room for wind. The price of their wanting to “find a way forward for coal.”
American Wind Energy Ass, how dare you. This one’s for you:
From AWEA’s 2012 IRS 990 (the most recent one on Guidestar), p. 25 and 29, they’re getting paid a lot: