The push for the uber grid raised its head again in the New York Time’s 7.12.13 edition. Matt Wald plugs the new EIPC (Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative) “hypothetical” nationalized grid as a “step forward”.
As Mr. Wald reports,
When President Obama presented his plans last month for executive action that would cut emissions of greenhouse gases, one item on his list was strengthening the power grid. It was on the lists of President George W. Bush and Mr. Clinton, too. But for the most part, experts say the grid is not being changed, at least not on a scale big enough to make much difference.
Their view is reflected in what they say is a largely hypothetical three-year effort by hundreds of engineers to redraw the grid for the eastern two-thirds of the United States. Engineers in the project, which is now drawing to a close, have proposed a basic redesign for beefing up the Eastern Interconnection, the part of the grid that stretches from Nova Scotia to New Orleans.
You may wonder what is EIPC and what is its function? Here’s how EIPC describes itself:
The EIPC was initiated by a coalition of regional Planning Authorities (see list below). These Planning Authorities are entities listed on the NERC compliance registry as Planning Authorities and represent the entire Eastern Interconnection.
The EIPC will provide a grass-roots approach which builds upon the regional expansion plans developed each year by regional stakeholders in collaboration with their respective NERC Planning Authorities. This approach will provide coordinated interregional analysis for the entire Eastern Interconnection guided by the consensus input of an open and transparent stakeholder process.
The EIPC received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2010 to initiate a broad-based, transparent collaborative process to involve interested stakeholders in the development of policy futures for transmission analysis. Learn more about the DOE-funded project.
The Stakeholder Steering Committee (SSC) is the body of stakeholder representatives that works collaboratively to inform and provide input on the EIPC’s efforts. Learn more about the SSC.
Alcoa Power Generating
American Transmission Company
Duke Energy Carolinas
Electric Energy Inc.
LGE/KU (Louisville/Kentucky Utilities)
Florida Power & Light
Georgia Transmission Corporation
IESO (Ontario, Canada)
International Transmission Company
JEA (Jacksonville, Florida)
Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia
New Brunswick System Operator
New York ISO
PowerSouth Energy Coop
Progress Energy – Carolinas
Progress Energy – Florida
South Carolina Electric & Gas
Southwest Power Pool
Tennessee Valley Authority.
As aptly noted in The Power Line blog in response to Mr. Wald’s uber grid writings:
See all that talk about “transparent,” “stakeholders” and “grassroots”? That is corporate mumbo jumbo of the first order. Ain’t nothing grassroots about EIPC. Mr. Wald should go back to reporter school. You don’t write an article and leave out all the important names. Unless you are trying to hide something.
I also agree with The Power Line on the clincher to the EIPC’s uber grid vision stated by Christopher Russo, an energy consultant at Charles River Associates (a company that helped with the grid redesign):
“We said, ‘Here’s what we could do,’ ” he said. “We haven’t said how we would pay for it.”
I’ve wondered about that “pay for” part in regards to proposed high-voltage transmission in the western U.S.