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E&E News: California to study plans for creating Western regional grid

Posted by Jason Plautz on Aug 15, 2022

E&E News covered new California legislation to explore the benefits of a Western RTO, quoting Amisha Rai on the need for a more interconnected grid. Read snippets below and the full article here.

California is exploring the proposed formation of a regional electric grid as governments and utilities across the West push for broader distribution of renewable resources...

A regional grid, advocates say, would alleviate that pressure, allowing the state to draw power from its neighbors during times of peak demand and leveraging the cleanest and cheapest generation sources.

Two states — Nevada and Colorado — have also passed laws exploring a western RTO as part of their clean energy programs...

The discussions also come as the U.S. Department of Energy is encouraging more transmission construction to better distribute clean energy. The Energy Gateway, a 2,000-mile network across Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah, is one of several large transmission projects designed to expand distribution of renewable energy across the region (Energywire, July 14).

An Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) study released in July found an 11-state RTO would add up to 4,400 megawatts of clean energy and create between 159,000 and 657,000 new jobs in part by encouraging more businesses to move west in search of lower electricity prices.

“California and states all over the West are still operating on a decades-old energy system built and designed for fossil fuels,” AEE managing director Amisha Rai said in a statement on the passage of the California bill last week. “With cleaner, cheaper energy options already powering our homes, California needs to work with the rest of the West to adapt our electric grid to make better use of these resources to meet growing electricity needs.”

Read the full article here.

Topics: California Engagement, United In The News, Amisha Rai, Western RTO