National Grid: New Transmission
Policies Are Needed to Realize Renewable Generation's
Potential in the U.S.
Sep 21, 2006 Business Wire
In a white paper published yesterday,
National Grid (Westborough, Massachusetts) urged
federal and state policymakers to address current
inadequacies in U.S. transmission policies that
create obstacles for wind and other renewable generators
in accessing the country's electric grid.
In the paper, entitled "Transmission
and Wind Energy: Capturing the Prevailing Winds
for the Benefit of Customers," National Grid advocates
for the development of a consistent and appropriate
policy approach to support the transmission investment
needed to harness wind power and integrate it into
the U.S. electricity grid while continuing to maintain
system reliability, and deliver its full benefits
to electricity market users and customers.
Renewable power sources, including
wind, have captured the attention of policymakers,
customers, and others as an alternative to natural
gas and other fossil fueled generation as their
prices have become increasingly high and volatile.
Improved technology, federal tax credits and public
policies that encourage utilities to use renewable
energy sources have helped spur the recent growth
of wind power across the country.
"Transmission is the essential infrastructure
needed to facilitate access to new generation sources
such as wind power," said Masheed Saidi, National
Grid senior vice president, U.S. Transmission. "If
U.S. policymakers and customers want to tap the
potential benefits of the nation's renewable resources,
including wind, policies must be established to
facilitate the integration of these resources into
the electric grid reliably and cost effectively."
National Grid contends that in order
to tap the vast potential of new generation sources,
policies must support investment needed to deliver
renewable energy to customers. National Grid calls
-- Comprehensive regional planning
for reliability and economic needs, including access
for new renewable and remote generation sources.
-- Cost allocation for transmission
improvements that recognizes their broad benefits.
-- Policies that address interconnection
scheduling issues, remote siting, generation interconnection,
and the unique characteristics of renewable generation,
such as the intermittency of wind.
-- Federal and state cooperation
on siting and cost recovery.
"The New York renewable energy industry
is pleased that National Grid is promoting transmission
policies that will help clean energy sources reach
the customers they are intended to benefit," said
Carol E. Murphy, executive director of the Alliance
for Clean Energy New York.
"This report from National Grid highlights
the critical role that wind energy can play in building
a more diverse and reliable power supply that generates
significant economic and environmental benefits
for electricity customers," said Renewable Energy
Trust Director Warren Leon. "Harnessing wind energy
is an important part of our strategy to build a
cleaner, more secure energy future for the Commonwealth."
National Grid also proposes incentives
to continue FERC's encouragement of independent
transmission ownership, which can help wind development.
Independently operated transmission can:
-- Provide the most effective method
of ensuring non-discriminatory and adequate transmission
access to new, less costly, and diverse sources
of generation including clean coal, renewables,
-- Promote effective regional system
planning processes that provide for new generation,
including remote renewables, and demand-side participation
in electricity markets;
-- Facilitate the closure of old,
dirty, and uneconomic generating sources by allowing
newer, cleaner regional generation sources to be
delivered to load centers.