OF THE ENERGY WEB
Generations transmission system. The high-voltage power lines and
substations that move power from central generation plants to the customer.
Here in the Northwest, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) owns
and operates about three-quarters of the region's high-voltage electric
grid. Its 15,000 miles of power lines are technically advanced and highly
reliable. BPA also has transmission links to the north (Canada), south
(California) and east (eastern Montana). The largest is the Pacific Intertie,
which carries power between the Northwest and California. Utilities up
and down the West Coast use BPAs high-voltage grid to help deliver
electricity to their customers.
"BPA has long given other utilities access to its transmission grid,
which is a key to utility deregulation. BPA is currently participating
with other Northwest transmission owning utilities to develop a regional
transmission organization (RTO West), which would act as an independent
system operator throughout the region. BPA and other participating utilities
would retain ownership of their transmission facilities, but RTO West
would provide 'one stop shopping' for transmission access in the Northwest.
The utilities plan to file a detailed proposal with the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission in December 2001. Upon FERC approval, the utilities
would move forward with a goal of RTO start-up in late 2003."
(BPA Website, Bonneville Power Administration, the Power of the Columbia
River- a text, audio, video presentation. http://www.bpa.gov/power/pl/columbia/1%2Dtrans.htm
A transmission system such as this is seen as fundamental to the growth
of the Energy Web. "Commissioner William Massey of the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission told a distributed Generation conference that FERC
plans to continue crafting policies to remove transmission and distribution
barriers for distributed resources, both wholesale and retail. 'Any sort
of interconnection barrier that exists out there, we want to stop it.
And we want to streamline the process of obtaining grid access.'"
(Blankenship, S. 2002, May, DG Update: DG will benefit from continued
move toward uniform transmission access. Power Engineering Magazine)
BPA also has a program that looks at all alternatives to constructing
new transmission lines. Called the Non-Construction Alternatives Round
Table, it is chaired by Vickie VanZandt.
BPA decides to build a line, we want to make sure we have fully considered
whether non-construction alternatives can be used," says VanZandt,
TBL vice president for transmission operations and planning. "We
want to look at all options, not just traditional construction."
the types of alternatives that will be explored by the new round table
include energy efficiency programs, demand reduction initiatives, pricing
strategies and distributed generation, among other things.
Roundtable page at BPA
New York Times article on the recent grid failure
Wired Magazine article on old coal
plants being brought online.
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