WATT Coalition Releases Report on Synergy Between Grid Enhancing Technologies and New Transmission Lines

WATT Coalition Releases Report on Synergy Between Grid Enhancing Technologies and New Transmission Lines

The Brattle Group’s Research Combines Modeling and Case Studies to Quantify the Value of GETs 

APRIL 20, 2023, WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, the WATT Coalition published a new whitepaper by the Brattle Group: Building a Better Grid: How Grid Enhancing Technologies Complement Transmission Buildouts. The research quantified how Grid Enhancing Technologies (GETs) reduce costs and improve transmission system planning and operations at all stages of transmission development: 

  1. Before construction, GETs can reduce congestion by 40% or more. Based on 2021 transmission congestion costs, that is worth over $5 billion per year to U.S. ratepayers. GETs often pay for themselves in less than a year of operation. 
  2. During construction, outages can be avoided or ameliorated, with similar reductions in congestion costs of 40% or more. Examples in the report show that GETs can mitigate congestion at a very low cost—GETs installation costs are often at around 5% or less of the estimated annual congestion costs.
  3. After construction, utilization on new lines can increase by 16%, improving the Benefit to Cost ratio of the new lines. Revisiting the model of SPP’s 2025 grid used in Unlocking the Queue with Grid Enhancing Technologies, The Brattle Group found that SPP’s existing network and planned high voltage elements saw higher utilization when GETs were deployed to address transmission constraints and enable renewable development. 

“Insufficient transmission capacity is the primary obstacle to the energy transition,” said Julia Selker, Executive Director of the WATT Coalition. “Grid Enhancing Technologies and new transmission lines must be deployed together to achieve the necessary system expansion at the highest speed and lowest cost. The faster and more strategically the U.S. is able to increase transmission capacity, the lower the cost to the planet and the ratepayers.” 

These results inform the role that GETs should have in transmission expansion strategies across the country. The Department of Energy’s Draft National Transmission Needs Study found that the rate of transmission capacity expansion must at least triple to put clean energy goals in reach. The WATT Coalition submitted comments to the DOE today on the draft report and the role of GETs in increasing the pace of capacity expansion, including the findings of the Building a Better Grid whitepaper. 

Contact: Julia Selker, Executive Director, WATT Coalition, jselker@gridstrategiesllc.com, 541-908-5792

Download this press release.