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Transmission Needs

Issue 10 and Volume 105.

I want to reply to the editorial on re-investment brownout (p. 3) and the article on DC transmission (p. 11) in the July issue of Power Engineering. Both fly in the face of a number of trends. First, the feasibility of building lines, given the public sentiment against such, makes even the TransAmerica Grid unrealistic. It would still require transmission towers and lines, or rework of existing towers and lines, to add the DC capacity (although historically, AC and DC lines have been separate).

Further, it flies in the face of what other countries are doing, which is looking at the problems of the U.S. and rejecting national grids in favor of local generation and/or regional grids.

I believe it is time for the formation of regional utility authorities to bolster the capacity of transmission on local bases rather than looking to transport power across the country. That dynamic just isn’t going to play any longer. That is a reflection of an old utility mindset rather than reflective of realities being faced today.

Tim McCreary
Exec. VP Business Development
LM Alternatives, Inc.