At a recent DOE "congestion study workshop" utility schmoozers, their PJM and MISO lap dogs, and government officials came together to further their goals of building a whole bunch of unneeded transmission to transport midwest wind to east coast load centers.
“Illinois, Indiana and now northwestern Ohio are seeing a tremendous growth in wind integrations,” said Bob Bradish, head of American Electric Power’s transmission planning group. “A lot of that is now starting to show in the way of congestion on our system out there.”
AEP could also build transmission and pay for it itself, he noted. But the nature of eastern demand is such that a congestion issue identified and addressed in the western part of the PJM system, for example, will lead to other points of congestion.
“East economics are so that they want to pull everything from the west; you fix something, they just pull more, so congestion comes back up again,” Bradish said.
Why should you be worried? Because it's the same stupid plan as Project Mountaineer -- west to east power flows that require new, expensive, destructive transmission lines, now cloaked in the "green" of wind. Of course, all those lines "for wind" will also be tied to the existing grid connected to AEP's (and other dirty generators') coal-fired plants. And as PATH taught us, you can't separate "clean" from "dirty" electrons. By the time that "wind" lights up a flat-screen TV in Annapolis, it's going to be the same old "coal" that's been doing it for years, however the consumer is now being fooled into believing they're using renewable power.
If you live around PATH's proposed "Kemptown" substation site and have been wondering why they persist in dragging the zoning issues through the courts, this is why. The property is attractive as a target for other "wind" transmission projects.
So, keep an eye on how DOE's congestion study plays out and the progress of off-shore wind, which will turn the west to east flow paradigm completely around and will end up being the cheapest and most efficient solution.