Wind industry says Trump pipeline push misses “major” transmission opportunity

Source: By John Sicilano and Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019

The wind industry criticized Trump’s executive orders to spur pipelines Thursday, saying the president missed a “major opportunity” by focusing on “only part of the infrastructure solution” and ignoring transmission lines, which are key to unlocking the full potential of wind and solar.

“We agree enhancing U.S. energy infrastructure is a critical priority, but these executive orders miss a major opportunity by focusing almost exclusively on pipelines, whose capacity has increased ten times faster than electric transmission capacity over the past decade,” said Amy Farrell, the American Wind Energy Association’s senior vice president of government and public affairs.

Farrell noted that transmission lines, like pipelines, are also hobbled by “regulatory uncertainty,” requiring 10 or more years to be approved and developed because of a diffuse permitting process that is subject to delay because of local opposition from people living near the planned power lines.

Transmission lines are critical to transporting electricity from places, typically rural areas, that have an abundance of wind or solar to consumers in population centers that don’t generate significant renewable electricity.