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Utilities Proceed to Enhance Spending on Transmission Infrastructure

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investment in transmission infrastructure by major utilities, as explained in the article text

Supply: U.S. Vitality Data Administration, Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC) Monetary Stories, as accessed by Ventyx Velocity Suite. Word: RTOs are regional transmission organizations.

Spending on infrastructure to ship energy to houses and companies has elevated steadily over the previous 10 years as utilities construct, improve, and exchange station tools, poles, fixtures, and overhead strains and units. Based mostly on data compiled from utility experiences to the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC)—filed by utilities representing about 70% of whole U.S. electrical load—these utilities spent about $21 billion on capital additions in 2016. The Edison Electrical Institute (EEI) estimates that utility spending on transmission infrastructure continued to extend in 2017.

Funding in transmission additions accounted for many utility transmission expenditures. In 2016, whole transmission expenditures by utilities included within the FERC information reached $35 billion, with funding in transmission infrastructure making up 61% of that whole.

Operational and upkeep prices—equivalent to funds to transmit electrical energy over completely different energy strains and the price of sustaining overhead energy strains—made up many of the remaining transmission expenditures. Spending on operations and upkeep of the transmission grid has additionally risen steadily—from $three.three billion in 1996 to $13.5 billion in 2016—by the businesses included within the FERC information. Spending to construct, function, and preserve regional transmission group and markets made up 1% of that utility transmission spending.

utility transmission investments by NERC region, as explained in the article text

Supply: U.S. Vitality Data Administration, Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC) Monetary Stories, as accessed by Ventyx Velocity Suite


Transmission spending has elevated throughout all areas of the nation. In response to EEI members, the first elements anticipated to drive transmission funding over the subsequent a number of years embrace

  • Upgrades and alternative of ageing transmission infrastructure
  • System hardening and resiliency to reduce adversarial catastrophic occasions
  • Elementary enhancements to adjust to evolving transmission reliability and safety compliance requirements
  • Growth of the transmission system to combine renewables and pure gasoline

A few of the largest transmission initiatives presently beneath building embrace

  • The Midcontinent Unbiased System Operator’s (MISO) Multi-Worth Portfolio is a $6.6 billion portfolio of 17 transmission initiatives designed to handle regional reliability wants and supply larger entry to renewable vitality assets (primarily wind and Canadian hydro) throughout the MISO footprint.  Of those initiatives, 5 are full and 9 are beneath building, because the others await state regulatory approval.
  • Vitality Gateway is a $6 billion main transmission enlargement program that can add roughly 2,000 miles of recent transmission strains inside the Western Electrical energy Coordinating Council to extra reliably meet new demand patterns, strengthen utility connections, and supply larger entry to new wind, photo voltaic, geothermal, and different assets. On the finish of 2017, 405 miles of recent transmission strains had been added with completion dates deliberate via 2024.
  • Energizing the Future is a program to interchange ageing tools within the PJM Interconnection area with superior sensible grid applied sciences designed to reinforce system reliability by stopping or rapidly figuring out outage areas, assembly anticipated load development from shale gasoline exercise, and reinforcing the present system in gentle of coal plant closures.  After an preliminary $four.2 billion funding from 2014 via 2017, FirstEnergy expects to speculate one other $four.2 billion to $5.eight billion via 2021.
  • Oncor, situated within the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), is planning to spend $1.2 billion to improve ageing infrastructure and construct new strains to accommodate giant will increase in electrical energy userelated to oil and pure gasoline extraction within the Permian Basin.

Principal contributor: Lori Aniti

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