Press Releases

ICYMI: MIT, Columbia, EPI Laud Hickenlooper’s BIG WIRES as Transmission Solution

Feb 16, 2024

MIT: ‘BIG WIRES Act leads to annual system cost savings of $330 million [to] $2.46 billion’,

Columbia: ‘BIG WIRES Act could set in motion an expansion in transmission capability unprecedented in speed and scope’

Energy and Policy Institute: Interregional transmission would grow 126% by 2035

In case you missed it, three newly released studies by respected academic organizations and think tanks found Hickenlooper’s Building Integrated Grids With Inter-Regional Energy Supply (BIG WIRES) Act would lower electricity costs, curb the release of environmentally-harmful emissions, and better protect the utilities families rely on during extreme weather events.

 Check out the studies below:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research: Evaluating the Impact of the BIG WIRES Act

“The BIG WIRES Act leads to a 73 million metric tons (Mmt) (5.5%) reduction of CO2 emissions relative to the status quo…would significantly increase the interregional transmission capacity across the U.S…reduce the electricity system cost by $330 million annually in the no CO2 reduction scenario and by $2.46 billion annually in the 95% CO2 reduction scenario…enhance the grid resiliency to extreme weather events, such as heat waves, cold snaps, and hurricanes, by providing more flexibility and diversity in the generation mix and reducing the reliance on natural gas.”

Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University: Estimating Interregional Transmission Expansion Under the BIG WIRES Act

“If the BIG WIRES Act meets its targets, transmission capability in the continental United States will more than double, growing from 84.4 GW to 191 GW in less than a decade…If passed, the BIG WIRES Act could set in motion an expansion in transmission capability unprecedented in speed and scope, a crucial factor for a more integrated, cleaner, and cost-effective national grid.”

Energy and Policy Institute: Southeastern Utilities Block Transmission Necessary for Decarbonization

“Decarbonizing the economy will require a significant expansion of interstate and interregional transmission, but investor-owned utilities in the South, such as Southern Company and Entergy, have spent years undermining efforts to expand high-voltage transmission in an effort to entrench their monopolies, preserve the value of their existing fossil fuel assets, and limit the introduction of lower-cost renewable energy from outside their service territories…

“In September of last year, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and U.S. Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced the Building Integrated Grids With Inter-Regional Energy Supply (BIG WIRES) Act…both Southern Company and Entergy have registered to lobby on the bill, according to federal lobbying disclosures.”


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