U.S. Governors Push For Unified Electricity Grid

The Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition is a bipartisan group of United States governors who are dedicated to the development of the nation’s wind and solar energy resources to meet our country’s domestic energy demands in an environmentally responsible manner. The bipartisan group includes governors from eighteen states (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington). The Wind & Solar Energy Coalition believe that renewable energy will reduce America’s dependence on imported oil and natural gas, while stimulating the economy.

On November 9, 2018, the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) emphasizing the benefits to the country for one unified electricity grid using high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) lines. America’s century-old electricity grid system infrastructure is inefficient and doesn’t have consistent standards. HVDC lines interconnect two alternating-current (AC) networks, converting AC voltage to DC voltage and vice versa. HVDC lines can operate at voltages of up to 800 kV, enabling bulk transport of power over longer distances. HVDC lines have significantly lower power loss than AC systems, which makes them more economical.

Construction of new transmission lines and new power plants like wind farms and solar parks, routinely face significant delays due to right-of-way issues. Recently, a major wind farm in Oklahoma was canceled because the utility couldn’t the necessary right of way access for 350 miles of transmission lines for their customers. Right of way access represents the greatest road block to the development of future renewable energy projects.

The Wind & Solar Energy Coalition contends that the development of one unified electricity grid using HVDC lines will make our nation’s power grid “more resilient, efficient, reliable, competitive and less vulnerable to cyber attacks.” Electricity generated from wind, solar and hydropower is now cheaper than any form of fossil fuel (coal, natural gas or oil). The road blocks to renewable energy are not “big oil” but people who say those power lines will not go through my neighborhood. Many of these people also write angry letter to their government officials demanding our country abandon fossil fuel for clean, green energy. America, it is time we all looked in the mirror and remember a quote from the late President John F. Kennedy who said: “ask not what my country can do for me, but what I can do for my country.”

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