The Energy Future Coalition has been working hard with a diverse group of partners to advance policy proposals to create a National Clean Energy Smart Grid that would use modern computer technology to better monitor and manage the electricity system and expand transmission infrastructure with efficient, high-capacity wires. A modernized grid will help us scale up domestic renewable energy resources and maximize energy efficiency opportunities and make us more resilient and better equipped to handle emergencies like downed wires. A Smart Grid also enables emerging technologies that are essential for combating climate change like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and remote-controlled lighting systems.
This week, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced a bill (S. 539) on modernizing the electric grid and recognized the substantial contribution of our working group. An excerpt from his floor testimony is below.
…[W]e must also focus our attention and investments on planning and siting new electricity transmission and breaking down barriers to a truly national approach. Otherwise, the vast clean renewable power in the sun, wind and geothermal resources of Nevada, off the country’s coasts in the oceans, in the biomass on our lands, forests and in our cities, and in the remote and rural areas of the country, will never get to consumers.
Our transmission system and its regulations have been built up over many decades with the main target of assuring reliability and availability. Yet the grid is still fragile and not well equipped to meet the demands of this century’s smart technologies or our environmental or national security challenges.
…Reforming our energy policies to build a cleaner, greener national transmission system–an electric superhighway–must be a top national priority.
Though this bill is loosely based on my legislation from the last Congress, this new and broader version is the product of input and a shared vision from many important stakeholders. In particular, the Center for American Progress and the Energy Future Coalition must be congratulated for their hard work and leadership in this complicated policy area. They have helped make it understandable to many in Washington, D.C.
Here are just a few of the organizations that provided valuable input in the drafting process for this bill: The Energy Future Coalition; the Center for American Progress; the Pickens Plan; Energy Foundation; Sierra Club; Natural Resources Defense Council; National Wildlife Federation; Audubon Society; The Wilderness Society; Bonneville Power Administration; Western Area Power Administration; Tennessee Valley Authority; Bureau of Land Management; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Department of Energy; North American Electric Reliability Corporation; National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; California PUC; Working Group for Investment in Reliable and Economic Electric Systems; Florida Power & Light; Midwest Independent System Operator; PJM Interconnection; ITC Transmission; Trans-Elect Transmission; Pacific Gas & Electric; American Electric Power; American Public Power Association; Large Public Power Council; Salt River Project; National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; Solar Energy Industries Association; Bright Source Energy; RES-Americas; AmericanWind Energy Association; Iberdrola Renewables; Colorado River Energy Distributors Association; Electric Power Supply Association; National Electrical Manufacturers Association; and many more.
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