Communities Could Have Saved Nearly $100M, Kept Lights on During Winter Storm Elliott by Adding Transmission

Nearly Two Years After the Tragedy of Winter Storm Uri, New Data Finds that Transmission Remains a Key Solution to Increasingly Frequent Power Outages During Extreme Weather

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Adding one gigawatt (GW) of transmission capacity during Winter Storm Elliott could have saved electricity consumers nearly $100 million over the course of the five-day storm, according to a new report released today by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). The report, The Value of Transmission During Winter Storm Elliott, details the benefits more transmission could have provided by keeping the lights on and delivering more affordable power as severely low temperatures caused record winter electricity demand and rolling blackouts across much of the Central and Eastern U.S. in December 2022.“Interregional transmission continues to be a key missing ingredient for U.S. grid reliability in the face of increasingly frequent extreme weather events,” said ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone. “It has been exceptionally difficult, if not impossible, to develop interregional transmission under the current planning processes and related rules. It is time to take action on the pro-transmission policies and reforms proposed in Congress and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, so we can keep the lights on and better protect communities, while also providing more affordable electricity.”The report found that expanding transmission ties by 1 GW would have generated significant cost savings for consumers and reduced outages during Winter Storm Elliott by delivering power from other regions with spare supply. Additional transmission into the Duke/Progress utility area in the Carolinas and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region would have yielded savings of $85 million and $95 million, respectively. Flowing the other direction, that same one GW transmission line between Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and TVA would have also provided $1 billion in savings to Texans during Winter Storm Uri in February 2021.“Making the grid bigger than the weather is the key to making our power system more resilient,” said report author Michael Goggin, Vice President at consulting firm Grid Strategies LLC. “A stronger transmission network could have kept the heat on for hundreds of thousands of Americans who lost power during Winter Storm Elliott. In addition to serving as an insurance policy for extreme events, transmission benefits consumers every day by delivering lower-cost clean energy.”For a region-by-region breakdown of the benefits that expanded transmission capacity could have provided during Winter Storm Elliott, click here to download the new report. The Value of Transmission During Winter Storm Elliott was commissioned by ACORE and authored by Grid Strategies LLC.


About ACORE:

For more than 20 years, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) has been the nation’s premier pan-renewable nonprofit organization. ACORE unites finance, policy and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy. For more information, please visit

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American Council on Renewable Energy | 202.777.7584 (o) | 202.594.0706 (c)