Building Renewable Energy Transmission Infrastructure Successfully - Tom Wray - SunZia Southwest Transmission Project
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Building Renewable Energy Transmission Infrastructure Successfully - Tom Wray - SunZia Southwest Transmission Project

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Tom Wray, a speaker at the marcus evans Transmission & Distribution Summit 2013, on building infrastructure to transport energy across large distances. ...

Tom Wray, a speaker at the marcus evans Transmission & Distribution Summit 2013, on building infrastructure to transport energy across large distances.
Interview with: Tom Wray, Project Manager, SunZia Southwest Transmission Project


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Building Renewable Energy Transmission Infrastructure Successfully - Tom Wray - SunZia Southwest Transmission Project Building Renewable Energy Transmission Infrastructure Successfully - Tom Wray - SunZia Southwest Transmission Project Document Transcript

  • Interview with: Tom Wray, Project Manager, SunZia Southwest Transmission Project “There is a trend in the US towards renewable energy sources, but resources are not necessarily close to load pockets,” according to Tom Wray, Project Manager, SunZia Southwest Transmission Project. “Companies are building long transmission and distribution infrastructure to wheel wind and solar energy across large distances into the big cities, but many are doing a poor job of effectively engaging the opposition in the route planning process. This is resulting in litigation, delays and costs, which are eventually passed on to consumers,” he commented. The SunZia Project is a proposed extra high voltage transmission system located between central New Mexico and central Arizona. Wray is a speaker at the marcus evans Transmission & Distribution Summit 2013, in Atlanta, Georgia, November 4-6. What is the true potential of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project? SunZia will create capacity that does not exist today, pooling wind and solar resources into markets in the Western US. Based on meteorological reports and existing wind farms, wind resources are over 12,000 megawatts, with capacity factors exceeding 42 percent. This is extremely attractive to utility companies, particularly in Arizona and California. In addition, this wind availability coincides with the 4pm-7pm peak period in California’s large load pockets. What is required to make such transmission infrastructure projects successful? The projects must be feasible and profitable for investors to pursue them, with reasonable permitting timelines. The load factor on the transmission line should be high enough for the unit rate to be affordable to the generator. Transmission lines are essentially toll roads, just transporting the product from where it is generated to the retail electric utility. The challenge is in making sure the transmission is in the right place at the right time. Long transmission lines must be built to get the energy from remote areas to big cities. SunZia’s lines will be 515 miles long, going across two states. How could transmission companies better manage the opposition they encounter when constructing such infrastructure? Long transmission lines are very costly and difficult to permit. Companies often encounter a lot of opposition as people do not really care if wind power has to go from one state to another, if the lines have to cross through their state. It is critical to engage opponents early on and often. Reach out to organi- zations that are likely to oppose a project and try to enlist their involvement during early project planning. Analyze sufficient alternatives beforehand. Some organizations are conflicted between being a part of the planning process and their traditional role of opposing a project at the end, but today many of these organizations are seeing the value of their early involvement. In our application in 2008, the SunZia route was 475 miles long compared to the 515 miles it is now. We had to analyze well over 2,400 miles of alternatives to reach a reasonable and feasible route that avoided important environmental resources and maximized the usage of existing infrastructure corridors. However, the cost of a transmission line is measured by its length. The industry has to engage with the opposition in a meaningful way and be prepared to make reasonable changes. If the effort is insincere, they will detect that. Listen to their ideas and get them to understand what you can and cannot do. They do not work in the power business. Preserving habitats, protecting species and maintaining wild land places are goals familiar to them. The industry has to engage with the opposition in a meaningful way Building Renewable Energy Transmission Infrastructure Successfully
  • 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/TomWray