The nation’s wind power is growing, but in order to get the wind power to the areas that need it the most, billions of dollars in transmission lines will have to be built.
Although transmission lines are growing, it will take it a while before it catches up to the nation’s wind resources, which are concentrated in the center of the country. Transmission lines will need to be built in order to move that power to large population centers to the east and west.
“In the meantime, regulators, generators, and utilities have to deal with transmission congestion and wind curtailments, the temporary shutting down of generation to maintain system balance and reliability. Those hurdles increase the costs of renewable energy and decrease its environmental benefits.”
According to the federal Energy Department, the nation’s wind capacity increased to more than 60,000 megawatts in 2012, thanks to favorable tax treatments and state mandates.
Read more about transmission grid projects in the Midwest.