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Advanced Energy United supports Congress’ BIG WIRES Act

Posted by Adam Winer on Sep 15, 2023

Introduced today in the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bill would support the buildout of much-needed electric transmission infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, national business association Advanced Energy United endorsed the Building Integrated Grids With Inter-Regional Energy Supply (BIG WIRES) Act, introduced today by Senator Hickenlooper and Representative Peters. The bill would address the need for more reliable transmission infrastructure to reduce power outages and upgrade power sector infrastructure.

Existing regulatory structures fall short of providing developers with the incentives to mitigate artificially inflated energy prices. The BIG WIRES Act would address these issues by requiring regions to be able to transfer at least 30% of their peak demand with neighboring regions. This proposal would alleviate grid congestion, lower energy prices for consumers, and reduce the grid’s vulnerability during extreme weather events by allowing electricity to move more easily between different parts of the grid.

"Strengthening the connections between regional electric grids will protect households and businesses from the worst effects of major power outages,” said Caitlin Marquis, Managing Director at Advanced Energy United (United). “Building transmission lines can also save consumers money by increasing access to least-cost generation; electricity markets lost out on upwards of $13 billion in 2021 in part because they were not able to quickly import electricity from elsewhere in the country during some extreme weather events, according to a recent Grid Strategies study. BIG WIRES is an important step to cut through the red tape and coordination challenges that prevent beneficial interregional transmission lines from being built.”

Building more electric transmission is critical to reaching 100% clean energy, improving power grid reliability, and helping power grids deliver lowest-cost power to customers. United’s support is noted in the press release announcing the introduction of the bill. Earlier this summer, Advanced Energy United sponsored a forum – featuring Sen. Hickenlooper – hosted by The Hill called Clean Energy Permitting Reform: The Path Ahead.

Click here to learn more about Advanced Energy United's work to support the buildout of electric transmission in the United States.

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Topics: Federal Policy, Press Releases, Caitlin Marquis, Transmission