The drive to modernize the nation’s electricity grid to promote renewable sources of energy such as wind is facing new opposition from a coalition of privately and publicly owned utilities, along with some national and state politicians, Matthew Wald in The New York Times reported on April 30.

In the Times‘ new blog, “Green,” Wald wrote that a group called the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy “is trying to block the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from approving a series of major transmission paths from wind-rich areas in the middle of the continent to load centers all over and then spreading the cost of the new lines around the whole country.”

The coalition argues that a national grid plan would favor utilities that generate renewable energy far away from load centers – wind generated in the Great Plains, for example – while renewable energy generated close to load centers could be unfairly disadvantaged.

“Subsidized transmission for distant renewables should not be allowed to crowd out local efficiency and renewables,” James Dickenson, chief executive of the municipal utility that serves the Jacksonville, Fl. area, said, according to Wald’s blog post.

A lively comments section, including a lengthy entry from Michael Goggin
of the American Wind Energy Association, offers some interesting perspectives on the issue, and it’s worth checking out.

Topics: Energy