What an $8B Western grid project means for U.S. clean energy – E&E News

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Energy

A planned 2,000-mile network of electric lines known as the Energy Gateway is more than a project to transport massive amounts of wind and solar energy among Western states that face potential supply shortfalls.
It’s also a key piece of the Department of Energy’s clean electricity strategy.
The cluster of high-voltage lines, located mostly in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah, is among two dozen “shovel-ready,” long-distance transmission projects that DOE is counting on to accelerate an enormous expansion of wind and solar power this decade. The transmission buildout is needed to reach President Joe Biden’s goal of a zero-carbon U.S. grid by 2035, according to DOE officials.

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With federal authority to order reductions in greenhouse gas emissions now sharply limited by last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA, new transmission lines as clean energy conduits are even more vital to the Biden administration’s goals.
Regulatory and environmental issues, local residents’ opposition and competitive interests have delayed some lines for more than a decade. The Energy Gateway network, led by Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp, a power supplier for parts of six Western states, was proposed in 2007. Its initial purpose was to deliver more power from Wyoming coal-fired generators, but the eastern Rockies’ wind energy potential has changed that formula.
The $8 billion Gateway pr …

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