Corina Rivera-Linares, Senior Analyst, TransmissionHub
June 09, 2014 | 1 Comments
King also said that the company has long supported federal legislation as a comprehensive means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adding, “However, we support EPA moving forward with this effort in the absence of federal legislation.”
National Grid is a subsidiary of National Grid plc.
Melissa McHenry, director of external communications with American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), toldTransmissionHub that the company is still reviewing the proposal and all of the technical documents to determine the potential impact of the proposed greenhouse gas regulations.
“The proposed regulations are very complex, and it's too early for us to speculate about the potential impact on our generation or transmission business,” she said. “It is important to remember that Monday's announcement is just the proposed guidelines. The guidelines still have to be finalized by EPA and then each state will develop an implementation plan for meeting the final guidelines. The state plans will determine the amount of renewable energy development and associated transmission investment that might support it. That process will take several years.”
McHenry noted that AEP will participate in the process and work to protect the interests of its customers, including coordinating with key stakeholders in each of the states the company works in to evaluate EPA's proposal and develop implementation plans that sensibly address each state's economic and energy needs.
She also said that AEP’s Electric Transmission Texas joint venture has been building transmission in Texas to support renewable energy development for several years, but it is too early to say how the competitive renewable energy zone (CREZ) process will fit into the Texas compliance plan.
Paul Copleman, a spokesperson with Iberdrola Renewables, told TransmissionHub that renewable energy sources, particularly wind power, “are poised to deliver economic, reliable, emission-free power to help meet this immense challenge. The EPA proposal is a crucial first step on the way to reducing carbon pollution and the effects of climate change.”
Iberdrola Renewables is the U.S. division of parent company Iberdrola S.A.
ISOs Highlight Efforts So Far
ISO New England (ISO-NE) spokesperson Marcia Blomberg told TransmissionHub, that ISO-NE is still reviewing the draft rule issued on June 2. She added that the New England states have been at the forefront of efforts to develop cap-and-trade systems, reduce carbon emissions and expand the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"[T]he draft rule includes some flexibility in terms of time — if multi-state plans are submitted, until June 2018 — and the variety of possible compliance measures,” she said.
Of planned/proposed transmission projects within ISO-NE that may facilitate the transport of renewable energy, she said, “The projects we are developing with transmission owners are reliability projects, aimed at addressing areas on the regional power grid that need upgrades,” adding that there are several elective projects proposed by private transmission developers.
Kenneth Klapp, a spokesperson with the New York ISO (NYISO) told TransmissionHub: “We will continue to monitor the proposed rulemaking and factor into our ongoing Reliability Needs Assessment and Comprehensive Reliability Planning processes. The NYISO can call upon regulated backstop solutions of generation, demand response or transmission if needed.”
He also noted that since 21 percent of the power generated in New York currently comes from renewable sources, just about all transmission will be supporting renewable energy. Additionally, there are a number of transmission proposals under consideration in the state regulators’ AC transmission proceeding that would substantially reduce transmission constraints between upstate New York and southeastern New York that, if approved and completed, would benefit renewable resources in the northern and western parts of the state, Klapp said.
NYISO’s Interconnection Queue indicates current proposed transmission projects that are part of the interconnection impact study process, he said. Those projects include Transmission Developers’ Champlain Hudson Power Express, New York State Electric & Gas’ (NYSEG) Oakdale–Fraser 345-kV line and Consolidated Edison Company of New York’s (Con Edison) Feeder 76 Ramapo–Rock Tavern project.
NYSEG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, whose parent company is Iberdrola S.A. Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED).
PJM Interconnection spokesperson Paula Dupont-Kidd told TransmissionHub that it is still too early to know how the new EPA policy will affect PJM directly, adding, “We know that we will be working with the states within PJM’s region as they develop their implementation plans.”
Steven Greenlee, a spokesperson with the California ISO (Cal-ISO), told TransmissionHub, “The California ISO is leading the nation in integrating renewables, which began in 2002 with our Participating Intermittent Resource Program, being first in the nation in establishing a control room renewables dispatch desk and by pioneering study and planning process that includes giving weight to projects that support public energy policies alongside reliability and economic proposals.”
Cal-ISO now has just over 15,000 MW of renewable resources interconnected, which are consistently producing around 20 percent to 25 percent of the energy consumed on a daily basis — and growing.
Greenlee added, “So, the ISO does not expect the EPA’s new plan to have much, if any, impact on our transmission planning process as we are already proactive in planning for and accommodating clean energy resources, and have been for a number of years. California never had much coal-fired generation in its portfolio mix and has had a prohibition against using it since 2007.”
He also noted that Cal-ISO understands that California’s air and energy agencies will conduct a more detailed review of how the new federal standards align with California’s energy policies and the ISO will assist them as needed.
Of planned/proposed transmission projects within Cal-ISO that may facilitate the transport of renewable energy, he said that the ISO has been approving transmission upgrades for several years that support California’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which requires that 33% of retail power sales be met with renewable resources. The ISO 2013-2014 Transmission Plan notes that enough major transmission has been approved to meet the RPS under current conditions and assumptions.
“Our need is to have enough flexible resources that can start and stop, and ramp up and down very quickly to help manage the fluctuations in wind and solar output,” Greenlee said. “These resources include utility-scale energy storage, energy efficiency and demand response products.”
Major transmission lines that have been approved to support California’s energy policies include San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) Sunrise Powerlink project and Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Eldorado-Ivanpah and Tehachapi projects, according to Cal-ISO.
SCE is an Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company.
In a June 2 statement, Jessie Knight Jr., chairman of SDG&E and Southern California Gas and executive vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE), which is the parent company of SDG&E and Southern California Gas, said that Sempra Energy supports the sensible regulation of carbon-dioxide emissions and actions that help develop a modernized energy grid that is clean and reliable.
“Although we are still reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed emissions regulations for existing power plants, we appreciate the inclusion of flexible compliance mechanisms that could recognize early actions by states like California that have already invested in pioneering greenhouse gas emissions-reduction programs,” Knight said. “We look forward to continued engagement with the Environmental Protection Agency and other stakeholders as the final rules are developed.”
He noted that Sempra Energy’s low-carbon emissions strategy is the foundation of the company’s approach to providing clean energy to more than 24 million U.S. consumers every day, and its ongoing investments in natural gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency and innovative technologies have allowed the company to achieve a carbon-dioxide emissions rate that is 40 percent below the U.S. national average.
Knight added that Sempra Energy’s natural gas-fired power plants have been built with the best available emissions-control technology and the company continues expanding its fleet of wind and solar power projects domestically and internationally.
This article was originally published on Transmission Hub and was republished with permission.
Lead image: Transmission lines via Shutterstock