Crucial Investments are Needed to Meet the Future
We all know utilities are investing in new resources to meet the need for electricity and to keep on top of environmental policies. We see wind turbines spinning on ridge lines and solar panels being mounted on rooftops. Behind the scenes, new infrastructure to ease these resources into the existing electricity delivery system is also taking shape.
Some of the new technologies that provide our electricity operate quite differently from a coal plant or a hydroelectric dam, our traditional sources of supply. Utilities and their partners in the industry are working to reengineer the existing delivery system to accommodate new types of resources. A lot of changes have already taken place and more are in the works.
In some cases, the fixes are structural, such as the need for a line to connect a remote wind farm to the electricity system. Other times, the solution is institutional, such as finding ways to share power reserves that are required to keep the system reliable under all circumstances.
No matter what, it all adds up to new costs that put pressure on consumer electricity rates. Rates are going up across the region in part to make way for new technologies.
Utilities will be delivering more renewable energy than ever and they while be rigorously managing costs. The investments in infrastructure are crucial to building next-generation resources and integrating them into a system that was designed to deliver power from dams and coal and natural gas plants. The major investments of today will create opportunities to increase the future supply of renewable resources.