To benefit electricity consumers and the environment by promoting efficient transmission solutions in regulatory, political, and educational forums.
A robust transmission system will provide numerous benefits to customers in terms of enhanced reliability, reduced costs, access to diverse supply sources, and fewer environmental impacts. An interconnected power system can improve reliability by allowing for the sharing of resources over a broader area. Instead of incremental additions of generation to supply local load, an interconnected system enables improved efficiency through economies of scale achieved by the access to more remote resources. In fact, the transmission system was originally developed for just such a purpose. Transmission reduces the need for reserves to ensure reliability, and in doing so, also lowers costs to customers.
An interconnected transmission system will help facilitate the establishment of competitive energy markets by providing customers with access to an array of resource options that can help insulate electricity consumers from the effects of natural gas price spikes, low hydroelectric years and catastrophic events. Hence indirectly, transmission works as an insurance policy embedded within the electricity system. Reliable access to a diverse portfolio of generation options also enhances competitive markets.
Transmission can also provide environmental benefits to customers through access to renewable resources. Transmission can play a dual role in bringing the benefits of renewable power to customers. First, renewable trunk lines can facilitate the connection between remote renewable generation and load in city centers, thereby ensuring the deliverability of this generation. Second, transmission can deliver not only the power from remote renewables, but also the environmental benefits. Given that sites with high renewable energy potential are limited in numbers and very specific, transmission enables the dispatch of the renewable power to serve customers in low wind potential areas. In both cases, transmission facilitates the delivery of renewable power over a broader area and to a wider range of customers, thereby enhancing both economic and non-monetary benefits, particularly environmental benefits, to customers.
Moreover, the costs of transmission are small compared to the benefits of reduced supply costs that it delivers. Consumers in the US have been unable to receive the full value of industry restructuring due to an inadequate transmission system that was not designed for the new demands being placed upon it.
In the UK, the creation of a robust interconnected transmission system contributed to savings of well over $700 million in congestion costs from 1994 to 2001 when the New Energy Trading Arrangements (NETA) were implemented.