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Eastern Interconnection grid planning completes first phase of study 

On December 22, 2011, the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) announced the completion of the first phase of study of its transmission analysis and planning effort funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Phase 1 report submitted to the DOE defines the formation of a Stakeholder Steering Committee (SSC) and outlines three future resource-expansion public policy scenarios to study in more detail in Phase 2.

The SSC, a 29-member group made up of representatives from states, regulatory jurisdictions in the Eastern Interconnection, and various industry sectors, chose the three scenarios from eight possible public-policy scenarios studied in Phase 1. In Phase 2, the SSC will conduct a more in-depth transmission analysis for each of the three selected scenarios, along with a production-cost study as well as high-level cost estimates for the resources and transmission facilities associated with each scenario. The project schedule calls for Phase 2 to be completed and a final report submitted to the DOE by the end of 2012.

The three scenarios described in the report are:

  • Business as Usual" representing a continuation of existing conditions including load growth, existing Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs), and currently proposed environmental regulations.
  • "National RPS: State and Regional Implementation" represents meeting 30% of the nation's electricity requirements from renewable resources by 2030. This would be achieved by utilizing a regional implementation strategy.
  • "Combined Federal Climate and Energy Policy" represents a reduction of economy-wide carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels in 2030 and 80% in 2050, combined with meeting 30% of the nation's electricity requirements from renewable resources by 2030 and significant deployment of energy efficiency measures, demand response, distributed generation, smart grid and other low-carbon technologies. This would be achieved by utilizing a nation-wide/eastern interconnection-wide implementation strategy.

About the EIPC

Formed under an agreement by over two dozen electric system planning authorities from thirty-nine states in the Eastern United States and two provinces in Eastern Canada, the EIPC is focused on a "bottom-up" approach, starting with a roll-up of the existing grid expansion plans of electric system planning authorities in the Eastern Interconnection. The EIPC membership includes Alcoa Power Generating, Inc.; American Transmission Company LLC; Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC; Electric Energy Incorporated; Louisville Gas & Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company; Entergy Services, Inc. on behalf of the Entergy Corporation Utility Operating Companies; Florida Power & Light Company; Georgia Transmission Corporation (An Electric Membership Corporation); Independent Electricity System Operator ("IESO"); International Transmission Company; ISO New England, Inc.; JEA; Mid-Continent Area Power Pool, by and through its agent, MAPPCOR; Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc.; Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia; New York Independent System Operator, Inc.; New Brunswick System Operator; PJM Interconnection LLC; PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; Progress Energy Carolinas, Inc.; Progress Energy Florida, Inc.; South Carolina Electric & Gas Company; South Carolina Public Service Authority; Southern Company Services Inc., as agent for Alabama Power Company, Georgia Power Company, Gulf Power Company, and Mississippi Power Company; Southwest Power Pool, Inc.; and the Tennessee Valley Authority.