How frustrating is it to build a wind turbine or install a solar panel which produces energy and then have no possibility of transmitting it because the people it is intended for live too far?
Pretty frustrating, we guess, judging from the law passed last year by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The official rule specifies under which terms renewable energy is to be transmitted throughout the U.S..
The problem first arose when owners of such plants realized they needed to invest even more when the time came to transfer the energy to the grids. That happened because the plants were rather isolated, whereas their energy was needed elsewhere, among the more populated regions.
What this law does is making neighboring states work together and build transmission lines. This is better especially in terms of money, since the investment will be shared among several stakeholders and the work will be planned ahead.
For example, after 2 months of the date this law is published, the public utility transmission providers will have to start filing coordination and cost allocation projects.
On a long-term basis, the trend will catch on to have more and more plants constructed anywhere, no matter the place, as long as it has potential. Thus, the population from remote areas will be able to receive cheaper power from the grid, while experiencing fewer power outages.
As expected, not everybody is overjoyed with the situation: local utilities will lose money due to the opening of the market, but in the end, it is the consumer who profits the most!