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PESD receives $100K in research funding from EPRI

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The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) awarded $100 thousand to fund PESD's research project on "Transmission Planning to Support Renewable Energy at Scale and Enhance Wholesale Electricity Competition."

At present, the lack of adequate transmission infrastructure makes it difficult to connect generators in regions with rich wind or solar potential to major population centers, thus a major barrier to least-cost renewable energy deployment.  The current transmission planning and expansion processes, incentives for vertically integrated, regulated monopoly regimes versus wholesale market regimes for renewable energy, ambitious state-level renewable energy goals, and the geographic concentration of the major renewable energy sources obstruct the ability for low cost renewable energy for consumers, healthy competition, least cost transmission, and the expansion of renewable energy generation.

A major goal of this research project is to quantify the differences in the least cost transmission network configuration between the vertically-integrated regime and wholesale market regime and quantify the differences in the cost of serving load associated with using a transmission planning and expansion process not suited to the wholesale market regime.