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February 24, 2021
Grid-Enhancing Technologies Shown to Double Regional Renewable Energy Capacity, According to Study by Brattle Consultants

Brattle Principal Bruce Tsuchida, Associate Stephanie Ross, and Research Analyst Adam Bigelow have coauthored a report that analyzes how much additional renewable energy can be added to the electricity grid with Grid-Enhancing Technologies (GETs), using the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) grid as an illustrative case study.

Prepared for the WATT Coalition, the Brattle analysis demonstrates that a combination of three GETs – namely dynamic line ratings, advanced power flow control, and topology optimization – could enable Kansas and Oklahoma to integrate 5,200 MW of wind and solar generation currently in interconnection queues by 2025, more than double the development possible without the technologies. Additional renewables enabled by GETs could also result in an annual production cost savings of $175 million as well as 3 million tons of annual reduced carbon emissions.

On a national scale, the results of the Brattle study suggest that GETs could deliver:

  • Double the amount of renewables that can be integrated into the electricity grid prior to building new large-scale transmission lines
  • 90 million avoided tons of carbon emissions per year, equivalent to taking 20 million cars off the road
  • $5 billion in yearly energy production cost savings, with upfront investment paid back in just 6 months
  • 330,000 local construction jobs, and 20,000 high-paying operations jobs

The study, “Unlocking the Queue with Grid-Enhancing Technologies,” is available to view on the WATT Coalition website.