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2012 -13 Seminars


Transmission Issues and Planning in the Western Grid

Rich Bayless
Director of Transmission Services and Technical Spokesman
Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG)
Principal
Comprehensive Power Solutions (CPS), LLC

Abstract
Popular belief is that while electrification and development of the transmission grid was the single most important achievement of the 20th century, the grid hasn’t changed fundamentally since its inception well over a century ago. The belief is that computer, microprocessor, and other technologies have soared; wind and solar variable generation development has sky-rocketed; but the grid hasn’t kept pace with the requirements for a more robust and flexible transmission grid.
New transmission expansion is very expensive and intrusive. It brings large issues of NIMBY, and NIMPC (Not In My Backyard, Not In My Pay Check). However, some believe it is critical for facilitating US technology, clean energy, security and global competitiveness. Also, the transmission grid a little understood part of the electricity infrastructure. The industry is now trying to decide the “where, what and how” new transmission infrastructure should be developed, but it is a complex planning issue given policies, technology, development timelines, customer requirements, and new energy supplies. My discussion will be titled Overview of Western Transmission System (especially the Northwest) – Planning, Issues and Integration of Variable Energy Resources. Outline (Draft 1):
• The Western Transmission System
– Types of Transmission Planning & Roles
– NW & the Western Interconnection
• Basics
• Brief History of Western Grid
• Dependencies & synergies
• Evolution of Planning in NW
• FERC Orders
– 888, 889
– 2000 & RTOs
– 890
– NTTG Example
• Transmission Planning organizations in the West
• Industry changes & Emerging Issues
– Wind, Solar and other Renewable Energy development
• Order 1000
– Status
– Implications for the NW and West