Grid growing pains

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021

President Joe Biden is pushing for a net-zero emission power sector by 2035, and revamping the nation’s grid is a major priority for his massive infrastructure proposal. Greater connections across the country could help regions out of a pinch in disasters like this year’s Texas winter storm, as well as transmit renewable energy to consumers thousands of miles away.

But those build outs are no easy lift. Prohibitive costs, notoriously long lead times and disparate priorities have hampered past efforts to upgrade networks. In other words, what developers call the “three P’s”: planning, permitting, and paying for it. And local communities aren’t always so keen on massive transmission projects passing through without any clear understanding of how it will benefit them.

Transmission lines in New Mexico

New transmission project are often riddled with hurdles, from costs to permitting. | Susan Montoya Bryan/AP Photo

Biden has a few tricks up his sleeve to push projects ahead, including a tax credit for transmission projects and an office at the Department of Energy dedicated to easing government approvals of new lines. Pro’s Eric Wolff goes deeper into what challenges Biden will face and and the potential solutions.