To promote investment to strengthen the transmission grid for enhanced reliability, economic welfare, access to new generation including renewable energy development, and national security.
A reliable supply of electricity is an essential service in today’s sophisticated technology driven environment. The nation’s continued economic welfare and security is dependent on the ability of its electric transmission infrastructure to deliver electricity, as needed, in an efficient and reliable manner. There are tremendous costs to consumers associated with a weak transmission grid. Those costs can measured in terms of congestion, lost productivity and equipment damage due to outages, lost opportunities to tap into newer, more efficient, and cleaner generation; and the assertion of market power..
The reliability of that supply is in jeopardy unless construction of new transmission facilities in the United States begins keeping pace with demand growth and developing wholesale markets. As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") and industry experts have acknowledged, investment in transmission is below the 1975 level in real dollars, while the electric load using the nation’s grid has more than doubled. Data show that the growth rate in transmission investment since 1999 is insufficient to meet the expected growth in consumer demand for electricity over the next two decades.
WIRES believes that a quarter century of low investment in the grid poses a major economic and security threat to the nation. Strong regulatory support for new and upgraded transmission is necessary to accelerate transmission infrastructure investment. The efficient and economic dispatch of electric power and the reduction of transmission congestion help ensure high levels of reliability and reduced costs to consumers. Those benefits more than offset the costs of new facilities.
WIRES believes that concerted effort is needed to overcome major challenges facing today’s wholesale power system:
WIRES will work with regulators, legislators, investors, and consumers to ensure the construction of transmission infrastructure capable of delivering a reliable and economical supply of electric energy for the nation’s electric consumers. Our organization advocates regulatory policy and legislation that encourage increased investment in transmission infrastructure and provide for proper regulatory treatment of these investments.