Princeton, NJ, Jan. 29, 2009 — Provisions encouraging the development of electric transmission, renewable power, and the “smart grid” included in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are a critical first step to ensuring a clean and reliable energy future for North America, said the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The $825 billion plan, which includes provisions for $8 billion for loan guarantees for transmission and renewable energy projects and additional funds for the smart grid, is the strongest support for electric infrastructure development to be considered by lawmakers in recent years, said NERC.
NERC flagged the need for transmission as critical to a clean and reliable energy future in its 2008 Long-Term Reliability Assessment and Special Report on Reliability Impacts of Climate Change Initiatives, highlighting the integration of new renewable resources as a key driver for transmission development.
Transmission development has significantly lagged behind generation development for the last decade, leading to situations where the grid is operated closer to the edge than in the past. Operating performance statistics collected in recent years increasingly suggest the grid is in need of significant investment.
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