There’s a lot going on behind the scenes when we flip the light switch, turn on the tv, or plug in an electric vehicle for at-home charging. Whatever its source, energy must be harnessed or collected, then transported, before it can be used to power our homes and businesses.
Utility planners must look deep into the future as they plan, finance, and build 50-year assets. And yet, the future is uncertain. Though demand for clean energy is increasing daily, transmission capacity, which is key to integrating renewable energy into the grid, is already at it’s limit. And further, there is no plan for adding new capacity in our region.
The way we get electricity is undergoing a radical transformation. Technology advances and cost declines have reversed this trend, and today smaller “distributed energy resources” are in vogue.