A recent report – published by The Brattle Group and Grid Strategies LLC – describes the need for better incentives to implement new technological solutions that provide robust, effective improvements to electric power transmission operation. While new policies and more extensive system expansion solutions will ultimately be necessary, certain new operations-focused technologies can be implemented much more quickly.

These new technologies may cost a fraction of the cost of major new transmission investments, and provide benefits that may be valued into the hundreds of millions dollars. They predominantly fall into two categories: technology that is focused on flexible and dynamic control of transmission systems; and technology that explores enhanced and flexible application of pre-determined transfer capability.

While there are numerous benefits for transmission operators to implement these new technological solutions before longer-term solutions have been created, the authors indicate that the capabilities of this technology are not being recognized and that there is very limited incentive to deploy these technologies now. The authors conclude that, in order to reap the full benefits of these new technologies, the development of new incentive policies and greater education around the potential benefits to be had through implementation are necessary.

The report, Improving Transmission Operation with Advanced Technologies: A Review of Deployment Experience and Analysis of Incentives, is authored by Brattle Principal T. Bruce Tsuchida and Rob Gramlich of Grid Strategies LLC. It was prepared for Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, Sustainable FERC Project, and the WATT Coalition.