As Keryn pointed out in her post last week, much of the current push for multi-state transmission compacts is coming from Big Wind hustlers in the Midwest. Here is a quote from a Washington Post article I wrote about back in 2009:
The second phase of the report, released in September, carried a caveat. It showed that the land close to existing lines had mostly been snapped up and that small projects, when grouped together, add stress to the grid. If the analysis is correct, renewables will not be able to continue to expand without transmission upgrades, raising complex questions about who will pay.
Transmission costs played a role in Willmar’s decision not to import wind-fueled energy from the Dakotas or Buffalo Ridge, located in southwest Minnesota.
“The more local we are, the more confident we feel,” Gomm said.
The quote refers to a report published by the Minnesota Energy Department. New land based Big Wind needs new transmission lines. As I pointed out last week, things haven’t panned out too well for transmission developers in the federal courts. So they are turning to the Council of State Government’s plan to undermine state governments with multi-state transmission compacts.
One of the big boosters of the compact idea is Jimmy Glotfelty of Clean Line Energy Partners. BTW, “Clean Line” a lie on its face. FERC has ruled countless times that transmission line owners cannot restrict the source of power that flows through their lines. So no line can be “clean” because it must carry coal-fired power. Jimmy’s company wants to build a line from Iowa into Illinois so it can hook up with PJM through Commonwealth Edison. That would give Jimmy’s company access to the expensive East Coast markets. And here in WV, we’re sitting right in the crosshairs of that one.
Right now, the big push for compacts is in the Midwest, but this is an ideal way for AEP or FirstEnergy to resuscitate the PATH zombie.
The Council of State Governments has a model compact that they are waving in front of state legislators, trying to get them to pass it. If you are involved in any legislative activity at all in WV, put our state legislators on notice that this one may be coming down the pike some day. If you are a lobbyist, keep your eyes and ears open at the Legislature, because they will try to slip it by when we aren’t looking.