Western RTO would decrease cost of clean energy production, transmission

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From lower energy costs and lower emissions to greater transparency and greater energy reliability, a new report produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for California Independent System Operators (CAISO) , underscores the enormous benefits that lie ahead for Californians through expanded clean energy cooperation in the western region. Accelerated progress toward the state’s 100% clean energy goal.

This concept Advocate Coalition It is called “Lights On California” including SEIA, Environmental Defense Fund, etc.

“The studies reviewed, although with different focuses, are consistent and suggest that California’s goals for renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction can be achieved more quickly and at less cost to Californians through greater regional cooperation. shows,” concludes the NREL report.

final presentation”The Impact of Expanded Regional Cooperation to Operate the Western Power Grid on California‘ was unanimously requested by the California legislature last year. ACR 188The resolution is a report that summarizes the latest research on the impact of increased regional cooperation on California, specifically how the RTO can help advance the state’s energy and environmental goals. . RTOs are independent, membership-based, not-for-profit organizations that operate multistate power grids, oversee regional wholesale electricity markets, and provide regional reliability planning. Seven RTOs in other parts of the United States cover about half of the U.S. states and meet two-thirds of the nation’s energy needs. The West is one of the only regions without it.

The NREL report highlights a “consistent narrative” in existing research on the benefits of regional energy cooperation.

  • The measurable benefits of regional cooperation include production cost savings, resource capacity savings, and emissions reductions.
  • Qualitative benefits include increased transparency, increased stakeholder participation, and more efficient use of transmission systems.
  • Regional cooperation can increase reliability, especially during stressful conditions that affect the availability of some power generation and transmission assets.
  • Larger geographical operational footprints tend to result in greater resource and load diversity.
  • Because RTO is a more inclusive cooperation structure that optimizes broader grid functionality, it tends to provide greater cost savings and grid flexibility than more limited forms of cooperation.
  • A larger and more comprehensive structure also expands the types of problems that need to be addressed. For example, governance and principles for allocating costs for new sends.
  • Even with a more limited form of cooperation, there are benefits such as cost savings.

“To fully decarbonize California’s grid, the state will need far more clean energy than it does today,” said Michael Colvin, director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s California Energy Program. says. “The report clearly shows that Western regional markets can help keep grids affordable, reduce emissions, ensure reliability and prevent outages.”

NREL concludes that RTOs will help the state meet these goals by lowering the cost of both producing and transmitting clean energy. The NREL report states: a recent study RTOs in 11 Western states will save Californians up to $563 million in annual energy bills, create 138,700 new high-paying jobs with an average annual compensation of $91,000, generate $21.7 billion in economic growth, We have found that 470 MW of new clean energy can be accelerated. Construction (enough to power about 90,000 homes).

The report also concludes that greater regional energy cooperation is essential to maintaining the reliability of California’s energy system, with benefits including:

  • Reduced depletion of solar and wind resources due to congested transmission paths
  • Ability to shift surplus wind and solar power elsewhere in the region when local production is high and demand is low
  • Greater operational flexibility to manage fluctuations in solar and wind power
  • Improved grid resilience (the ability to mitigate or recover from extreme weather events and other large-scale blackouts).

“California needs more renewable energy than it does now, and we must find ways to bring it to all communities at a low cost.California leaders must think beyond borders. No. Western states share California’s clean energy goals, and it makes sense to work with neighboring countries to reach them. Clearly, the time has come for clean local energy solutions.”

Read the full report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory here.

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