Building Access to Low-Cost Wind Power in the US - Michael Skelly, Clean Line Energy

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Michael Skelly, a speaker at the marcus evans Transmission & Distribution Summit 2013, on getting low-cost wind power to market.
Interview with: Michael Skelly, President, Clean Line Energy


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Building Access to Low-Cost Wind Power in the US - Michael Skelly, Clean Line Energy

  1. 1. Interview with: Michael Skelly, President, Clean Line Energy “With renewable energy getting cheaper by the day, the rationale for making the investment to get low-cost energy to market makes more sense now than ever before,” according to Michael Skelly, President, Clean Line Energy. “New HVDC transmission lines can play a key role in getting this low- cost energy to market,” he adds. Skelly is a speaker at the marcus evans Transmission & Distribution Summit 2013, in Atlanta, Georgia, November 4-6. Why are today’s transmission lines unable to meet the demands of the new energy economy? Transmission lines are used to get energy from where it is generated to where it gets used - that is clear. While coal, natural gas and uranium can be transported with pipelines and railroads to the location where they will generate electricity, that is not the case with wind and hydro power. The best resources for wind are in the middle of the country, but that is not where the people are. The current AC lines cannot take wind power over large distances into highly populated areas. To continue to grow the industry, new HVDC lines must be built. The existing transmission system was created primarily to connect population centers with nearby fossil fuel power plants. It is now insufficient to meet the demands of the new energy economy. Is HVDC the only way to get wind power to market? There are many ways to get more renewable energy on line. You could fix the AC grid to enhance its capacity. Market rules can be modified to allow for intra-hourly scheduling, which would facilitate more wind. More AC lines are getting built in the US, but still more are needed. HVDC lines can play a key role. DC lines make sense for distances over 400 km. DC is controllable and over long distances cheaper than AC. More importantly, DC power lines can get huge amounts of wind energy to market. Any time electric power must be moved across long distances, it is better to do it with DC lines. Is this renewable power low cost? Many wind contracts are being signed for less than three cents in the middle of the US. That is pretty low-cost power. Brazil has a declining clock auction system where without any sort of tax incentive, wind energy is being sold in the low four cent range. The combination of a good wind resource and an effective market leads to inexpensive wind power. Will this new technology give wind generation the push it needs? The wind industry is already the fastest growing source of generation in the US. Close to USD 20 billion was invested in wind last year. Wind in the US only started to really pick up speed about ten years ago. Anything with electric power infrastructure takes a long time. We would like to think that we are beginning to solve some of the transmission issues, but there is a lot of work to do still. How would you describe your public outreach programs? How do you build stakeholder support for new projects? We talk with the land owners and county officials. We get input from state agencies, local environmental NGOs and business organizations. The more input we get the more informed we will be as we put together the route. If we are building lines from Western Kansas to Southern Indiana, there are many possibilities for the route. We listen to what different stakeholders have to say and try to come up with the most sensibly-sited route. The current AC lines cannot take wind power over large distances into highly populated areas Building Access to Low-Cost Wind Power in the US
  2. 2. The Energy Network - marcus evans Summits group delivers peer-to-peer information on strategic matters, professional t r e n d s a n d b r e a k t h r o u g h innovations. Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited. About the Transmission & Distribution Summit 2013 This unique forum will take place at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia, November 4-6, 2013. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on Grid Modernization, Transmission Development, Reliability, Fire Mitigation and Reducing Substation Animal Outages. www.t-dsummit.com Contact Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division Tel: + 357 22 849 313 Email: press@marcusevanscy.com For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com All rights reserved. The above content may be republished or reproduced. Kindly inform us by sending an email to press@marcusevanscy.com About marcus evans Summits marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit: www.marcusevans.com Upcoming Events Distribution Technology & Innovation - www.dti-summit.com Petrochemical & Refining Summit - www.petrochemicalrefiningsummit.com Power Plant Management & Generation Summit - www.ppmgsummit.com Wind Power Summit - www.windpower-summit.com To view the web version of this interview, please click here: www.t-dsummit.com/MichaelSkelly

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