skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Midwest Power Grid Capacity Opens Up, Boosting Renewable Projects

play audio
Play

Tuesday, July 26, 2022   

States such as Minnesota have made progress in renewable-energy output, but a lack of grid capacity has created a logjam, preventing some projects from moving forward.

A decision issued Monday bodes well for such efforts in the Midwest. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, approved a $10 billion investment for 18 long-term transmission projects for its Midwest Subregion.

Natalie McIntire, technical consultant for the Clean Grid Alliance, called the action monumental amid the push for a carbon-free future under goals set out by state governments and utilities themselves.

"We're trying to meet the needs of utilities as they're planning for shifting towards clean energy resources," McIntire explained. "Clean energy resources that both benefit the environment but also have low cost to consumers."

The operator estimated the investments will provide a minimum of $37 billion in benefits to ratepayers over the life of the projects. While the news is seen as a boon for further advancing resources such as wind and solar, McIntire cautioned it will take a handful of years for new transmission lines to be operational.

Following the recent spike in energy prices, supporters of fossil fuels want to slow the closing of coal plants to meet current demands. But those backing renewables argue it is still more cost-effective to stay on the clean-energy path, and McIntire said the new transmission projects will allow for flexibility as innovation evolves.

"Our generation mix and the technologies are changing so rapidly that it's hard to know exactly where we're going," McIntire acknowledged.

In the meantime, McIntire stressed building more capacity for a variety of clean-energy resources paves the way for a more reliable grid.

"The transmission grid that we're building for the future is one that we expect to be much more reliable," McIntire pointed out. "In terms of being able to continue to meet consumer electricity demand during winter storms and during the summer when we have high heat indexes."

In all, officials say the new lines should add as much as 53 gigawatts of renewables and battery storage, enough to power about 12 million homes and create about 200,000 jobs.

Disclosure: Clean Energy Economy Minnesota and the Clean Grid Alliance Coalition contribute to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, and the Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A new report from California Competes outlined four main areas of action for colleges to take to reengage, reenroll, and propel comebacker students to completion. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 6 million Californians stopped out of college before getting a degree and a new report has laid out a plan to bring them back on campus…


Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's public school system is facing a crisis, according to the recently released "Public Schooling in America 2024" report. It ranks the …

Social Issues

play sound

In the 2023 legislative season, 25 states introduced legislation related to artificial intelligence and more than a dozen states enacted AI …


Colorado's I Matter program provides adolescents in crisis access to six free mental-health counseling sessions, with referrals for further help if it is necessary. (Pexels)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates say Colorado legislative leaders are working to make the state a leader in addressing the youth mental health crisis. At least nine bills …

Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of organizations in Georgia is joining forces to combat the rising rate of suicide among children and teenagers. According to national …

States including California and Illinois have passed mental health legislation similar to what Michigan is now considering, without seeing increases to insurance premiums. (Drazen/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A House bill aimed at increasing access to mental health care in Michigan could go to a vote on the House floor at any time. Rep. Felicia Brabec…

Social Issues

play sound

Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, Speaker of the Arizona House, has introduced legislation with hopes to curtail illegal immigration and save Arizonans big in …

play sound

Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021