February 16, 2021
ACORE Statement on Heartland Power Outages
Statement from Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE):
“As electricity generators work feverishly to restore power to millions of Americans, the serious problems on the grid today in Texas and much of the nation’s heartland reinforce the importance of critical investment in our nation’s grid infrastructure. The challenges are not due to the energy transition; they are due to an outdated grid that’s incapable of handling an increasing number of climate-driven extreme weather events. Data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the electricity grid in Texas, shows that fossil fuels make up the bulk of the power currently forced offline.
“During the height of power outages this holiday weekend, over 5 million Midwestern homes saw their lights stay on due to seven gigawatts (GW) of electricity shared from a regional grid in the East, PJM, to one in the Midwest, MISO. This was made possible by some of the very limited interregional transmission in the U.S. Building out more high-capacity interregional lines is an essential part of the effort to ensure grid reliability in an era of climate change. An analysis released just yesterday by the Bill Gates group Breakthrough Energy reinforces this fact, deeming high-voltage transmission infrastructure ‘critical’ to ensuring that grid operators can provide reliable service while reducing overall carbon emissions.
“It’s time for Congress to pass an ambitious infrastructure initiative aimed at expanding and upgrading America’s grid. With an advanced grid that better connects balkanized regional systems, we can prevent dangerous, widespread power outages from becoming the new normal, better harness our nation’s abundant renewable resources, and meet our climate objectives.”
Founded in 2001, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is the nation’s premier pan-renewable organization uniting finance, policy and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy. For more information, please visit www.acore.org.
Alex Hobson, Vice President of Communications, ACORE
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