January 2017 | Business View Magazine

16 17 opening lines A new report from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) finds that investor-owned electric companies are making significant investments to build need- ed transmission infrastructure that will enhance the nation’s energygrid tomeet the changing energy needs of today’s customers. The report,Transmission Projects: AtAGlance,finds that EEI member compa- nies’total transmission investment in 2015 reached a record $20.1 billion. “The high level of investment in our nation’s transmission infrastructure improves reliability and benefits customers by enabling electric com- panies to deploy new technologies, such as ad- vanced monitoring systems, that help to make the energy grid more flexible and more resilient,” said EEI Vice President of Energy Delivery, Phil Moeller. “These investments in smarter energy infrastruc- ture also relieve transmission congestion, facili- tate wholesale market competition, and support a diverse and changing generation portfolio that includes more wind and solar power.” The 10th annual publication of EEI’s Trans- mission Projects: At AGlance report highlights a cross-section of more than 150 major transmis- sion projects that EEI member companies com- Record-High Levels of Transmission Investment Enhance the Energy Grid and Benefit Customers pleted in 2015 or have planned over the next four years. These featured projects,which represent only a portion of the total transmission in- vestment that EEI’s member com- panies anticipate through 2019, total approximately $41 billion. Transmission investments are driven by a number of factors, including enhancements to re- liability, replacement of aging infrastructure, grid resiliency and modernization, economic and market efficiency, and public poli- cy requirements. “The electric power industry is making substantial investments to modernize the energy grid and to build the transmission needed to connect new clean sources of generation and reduce system congestion,” said David Owens, EEI Executive Vice President, Business Operations Group and Regulatory Affairs. “There are many financial risks associated with transmission construction, so the permitted return on equity for transmission projects is an important factor when determining the viability of new projects. It is important that the Federal Energy Regula- tory Commission recognize that adequate return on investment is critically important to investment in transmission projects.”