People are Talking about a Western Grid

Posted by Amisha Rai on Dec 15, 2022 2:06:25 PM

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As consumers face the electricity cost hikes and threats of blackouts that come with extreme weather conditions, it’s more important than ever to consider the potential benefits of a West-wide power grid. We already know that a Western regional transmission organization (RTO) could improve power system reliability, but a recent west-wide analysis conducted by Energy Strategies on behalf of AEE confirms that the region would also net major economic gains by establishing this kind of regional power grid. AEE also released three state-specific summaries showing that a Western RTO would generate huge economic benefits in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. And that got people talking. 

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Topics: Arizona, Western RTO, Colorado, Amisha Rai, New Mexico

Here’s What a Regional Electricity Market Could Do For Nevada’s Economy

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Oct 12, 2022 11:00:00 AM

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For the second time this year, Nevada’s energy leaders are convening to discuss the future of Nevada’s transmission system. Born from bipartisan (and AEE-supported) Senate Bill 448 (2021), the Regional Transmission Coordination (RTC) Task Force is charged with studying issues and policies related to transmission development and regional electricity markets for the Silver State. At the meeting today, the Task Force will hear about several competing efforts to create a more efficient and affordable western grid. There will be presentations from the California Independent System Operator, the Southwest Power Pool, and the Western Power Pool – each vying for Nevada’s attention and consideration. And while the exact contours of the West’s “Grid of the Future” remain to be determined, the benefits of a west-wide power system are becoming increasingly clear.

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Topics: State Policy, Wholesale Markets, Economic Impact, Transmission, Nevada, Western RTO

What Would a Regional Electricity Market Do for the West? Plenty

Posted by Amisha Rai on Aug 2, 2022 1:00:00 PM

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As the West deals with a record-setting heat wave that is fueling catastrophic droughts and wildfires and is testing the limits of America's aging power grid, our team at AEE is focused on how we can improve grid resilience and connect more clean energy by establishing a regional transmission organization (RTO) to operate the power grid for Western states. Now, we can say with certainty just what the West would gain in savings, jobs, and economic growth - and it’s a lot.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Arizona, Economic Impact, California, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Western RTO, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico

Nevada’s grid of the future should be part of an RTO

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Jan 10, 2022 1:00:00 PM

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Right now, Nevada’s electric grid operates more or less as an island, and the households and businesses that rely on that island are increasingly at risk of being stranded. Except under limited circumstances, the state’s utilities must produce enough of their own electricity to meet their customers’ needs, then transport that energy using their own poles and wires. This situation not only requires Nevadans to pay for more electricity infrastructure than they should, but also leaves them particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events.

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Topics: State Policy, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets, Nevada, Western RTO

NEWS: Heat Wave-Induced Energy Crisis Spotlights Need for a Western RTO

Posted by Jane Reynolds on Aug 3, 2021 2:00:00 PM

Heat Wave & RTO

Record-breaking heat waves and drought in the western U.S. are threatening the reliability of electric power, as electricity use is up and hydropower and energy imports from neighboring states are down. In California, Flex Alerts – asking consumers to conserve energy to relieve grid stress – are becoming a regular occurrence. And these weather patterns are no longer unusual: “This is really the new normal,” AEE policy director Leah Rubin Shen recently told Fox 40 of Sacramento. “These weather events are becoming more and more common and more and more frequent.” The energy crisis that results points to the need for a regional transmission organization (RTO) in the west, connected with a more expansive transmission network, to move power – especially renewable energy – where it’s needed, when it’s needed, at lowest cost.

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Topics: State Policy, News Update, California Engagement, Wholesale Markets, Western RTO

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