The Macro Grid Initiative seeks to expand and upgrade the nation’s transmission network to deliver job growth and economic development, a cleaner environment, and lower costs for consumers. The 15 states between the Rockies and the Mississippi River account for 88 percent of the nation’s wind technical potential and 56 percent of solar technical potential. However, this region is home to only 30 percent of expected 2050 electricity demand.
Through a transmission Macro Grid, we can connect centers of high renewable resources with centers of high electric demand, enhance grid resiliency and dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
Expanding and upgrading the nation’s transmission network will deliver jobs and economic development, a cleaner environment, and lower costs for consumers.
Expanded and upgraded interregional transmission lines would help electric utilities, corporate and institutional buyers, and other consumers meet carbon and clean energy goals by affordably and reliably integrating low-cost renewable resources. Enhanced transmission will also facilitate increased electrification and ensure grid reliability in the face of new patterns of electricity demand.
Increased transmission development at the “seams” between regions could save consumers up to $47 billion annually and return more than $2.50 for every dollar invested.
A nationwide, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) network, optimized for the nation’s best wind and solar resources, could deliver 80 percent carbon emission reductions from the grid by 2030 without adding costs to consumers’ electric bills.
Increased transmission development at the “seams” between regions could save consumers up to $47 billion annually
America’s centers of high renewable resources and high electric demand, represented here through resource type and population size respectively, sometimes fall within different grid regions.
Stitching together the major regions of the power system, represented here conceptually, would allow the U.S. to harness its abundant renewable resources and balance electric demand across the country.
Upgrading America’s transmission system by building a Macro Grid is a cost-effective way to alleviate transmission congestion and allow the integration of new renewable energy, which is expanding rapidly due to competitive prices, corporate procurement goals and state renewable energy standards. The Macro Grid Initiative seeks to build public and policymaker support for a new policy and regulatory environment that recognizes the substantial nationwide benefits of new regional and interregional transmission. Priority areas include:
The next round of regional and interregional transmission planning
A fully planned and integrated nationwide transmission system
A new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission transmission planning rule
November 9, 2020 Update
October 8, 2020 Update
August 13, 2020 Update
July 23, 2020 Update