The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) have launched the Macro Grid Initiative to build support for expanding and upgrading the nation’s transmission network.
The Macro Grid Initiative will undertake wide-ranging educational efforts in support of transmission expansion to connect areas with low-cost renewable resources to centers of high electric demand. This can be accomplished by connecting grid regions like MISO, PJM and SPP.
Expanding and upgrading interregional transmission lines would help electric utilities, corporate and institutional buyers, and other consumers meet carbon and clean energy goals by affordably and reliably integrating low-cost renewable resources. Enhanced transmission will also facilitate increased electrification and ensure grid reliability in the face of new patterns of electricity demand.
Increasing transmission development at the “seams” between regions could save consumers up to $47 billion annually and return more than $2.50 for every dollar invested.
A nationwide, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) network optimized for the nation’s best wind and solar resources could deliver 80 percent carbon emission reductions from the grid by 2030 without adding costs to consumers’ electric bills.
Achieving the Macro Grid vision will require new policies at the federal, regional and state levels that recognize the substantial nationwide benefits of an interregionally connected transmission network.