In order to satisfy energy needs for people in the Upper Midwest of US, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved a green energy project to harvest winds from areas near Dakota and Nebraska. The green power superhighway(around 3,000 miles) will deliver energy to consumers in and around Chicago, Minneapolis and other load centers.
Winds will be harvested from the high plains of the upper midwest US, from areas near Dakota and Nebraska where big ranches and open land areas offer lots of wind power potential.
But sometimes not the energy generation represents a challenge but the it’s transportation to the area where it is needed. That is why US started the development of a Green Power Express, a new network of extra high-voltage transmission lines of about 765 kV which will cross portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. Around 3,000 miles of transmission lines will be able to provide 12,000 megawatts of power from new wind farms in the high wind areas of the upper midwest. The current administration’s energy policy is to create the infrastructure in order to be able to get the power from where it can be harnessed to where it is needed.
The goal of president Obama is to get power from North Dakota to population centers, like Chicago, and this will become reality with the Green Power Express project.
But things are not so easy as we see them on paper. First the wind farms need to be made, then the grid infrastructure and this will take some time and a huge investment. The Green Power Express is to be completed by 2020 earliest but once connected and in place, this grid segment and the associated wind farms will be able to provide enough power from clean sources to replace seven to nine 600 MW coal plants. Carbon emissions of 34 million metric tons will be reduced which is equivalent to the pollution of nine to eleven million cars.
Even though the effort is huge and finalizing time long, we could see in the next future governments doing this, investing in clean energy, trying to have the planet a cleaner place to live.