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Yellow transmission lines above the words "Macro Grid Initiative" / Below that reads "An ACORE Program"
July 20, 2021
The Macro Grid Initiative (MGI) is a joint effort of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) to promote investment in a 21st-century transmission infrastructure that enhances reliability, improves efficiency and delivers more low-cost
clean energy to consumers.
“I concur with today’s ANOPR because approximately ten years after the Commission issued Order No. 1000, it is appropriate to review the implementation of that order, assess the successes and problems that have become evident over the past decade.... This consideration of potential reforms is especially timely as the transmission system faces the challenge of maintaining reliability through the changing generation mix and efforts to reduce
carbon emissions.” 

– FERC Commissioner Mark Christie, Statement on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR) on regional transmission planning
In This Update:
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Passes Chairman Manchin’s “Grid Infrastructure Resilience and Reliability Act”  
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issues a Transmission Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  
  • Save the Date: “Transmission Makes the Power System Resilient to Extreme Weather” (Webinar)
  • New research: “The North American Renewable Integration Study: A U.S. Perspective” 
  • Welcome New Macro Grid Initiative Vision Statement Supporters
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Passes Chairman Manchin’s “Grid Infrastructure Resilience and Reliability Act”  
On July 14, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed Chairman Manchin’s “Grid Infrastructure Resilience and Reliability Act” with bipartisan support. The bill is intended to provide legislative text for key portions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, including power infrastructure. Notably, “investments in the reliability and resilience of our electric grid" and "expand transmission capabilities” top the list of authorized expenditures in Chairman Manchin’s summary. 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issues Transmission Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  
Making good on his pledge to develop a roadmap for transmission reform, FERC Chairman Richard Glick this week issued a significant Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR) on regional transmission planning. The ANOPR marks FERC’s first serious look at transmission policy in a decade. The proposal tracks closely with recommendations in the MGI-supported “Planning for the Future: FERC’s Opportunity to Spur More Cost-Effective Transmission Infrastructure.” 

In a joint statement, released alongside the ANOPR, Chairman Richard Glick and Commissioner Allison Clements called for a new approach to transmission planning. The statement is worth reading in its entirety. Here’s an excerpt: “In particular, we believe that the status quo approach to planning and allocating the costs of transmission facilities may lead to an inefficient, piecemeal expansion of the transmission grid that would ultimately be far more expensive for customers than a more forward-looking, holistic approach that proactively plans for the transmission needs of the changing resource mix.” 
Save the Date: “Transmission Makes the Power System Resilient to Extreme Weather” (Webinar)
On Thursday, July 22, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT, ACORE is releasing “Transmission Makes the Power System Resilient to Extreme Weather,” research from Grid Strategies demonstrating the value of interregional transmission lines in extreme weather events. Wall Street Journal reporter Katherine Blunt will moderate the virtual discussion. The report examines five recent extreme weather events, including Winter Storm Uri in Texas, and finds consumers would have seen significant cost savings and enhanced reliability with additional interregional transmission lines. Register here
  • Neil Chatterjee, Commissioner, FERC
  • Jennifer Curran, Vice President System Planning and Chief Compliance Officer, MISO
  • Alison Silverstein, Advisor, ResilientGrid 
  • Adrienne Mouton-Henderson, Deputy Director, Renewable Energy Buyers Association
  • Audun Botterud, Principal Research Scientist, MIT
New Research: The North American Renewable Integration Study: A U.S. Perspective.
NREL has released a first-of-its-kind power system modeling for the entire continent. A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and Natural Resources Canada, the North American Renewable Integration Study (NARIS) used a suite of advanced modeling tools to study a range of future scenarios. The analysis focused on the potential role of cooperation across North America and between regions within each country, and how transmission can support sharing of supply and demand diversity across the continent.
  • Multiple pathways can lead to 80% power-sector carbon reduction continent-wide by 2050.
  • Regional and international cooperation can provide significant net system benefits through 2050.
  • Operational flexibility comes from transmission, electricity storage, and flexible operation of all generator types, including hydropower, wind, solar, and thermal generation.

In Case You Missed It...

  • Pattern Energy produced this excellent video featuring footage from the construction of Western Spirit transmission line in New Mexico. 
  • “There have long been unhelpful and misguided debates over which is the better route for energy transformation: energy produced in larger ‘utility scale’ facilities located in prime locations and transmitted to load centers, or local, smaller scale electricity production—such as rooftop solar.…This framing distracts us from the imperative of making progress, as fast as possible, in both reducing heat-trapping pollution and addressing the equity and resilience challenges associated with climate-change driven extreme weather.” -- Charles Teplin and Mathias Einberger of RMI responding to last week’s New York Times’ article, “More Power Lines or Rooftop Solar Panels: The Fight Over Energy’s Future.”  
Welcome New Macro Grid Vision Statement Supporters
The Business Network for Offshore Wind, the Rail Electrification Council, and RMI have recently signed on to support the Macro Grid Vision Statement: "Expanding and upgrading the nation’s transmission network will deliver jobs and economic development, a cleaner environment, and lower costs for consumers."

You can find the full list of Vision Statement supporters here.

As the Macro Grid Initiative (MGI) continues to plan a series of public conversations on the role of expanded and updated transmission in the ongoing energy transition, we invite organizations to join us. To learn how to become a supporter of the MGI, email

Read More About the Macro Grid Initiative
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Connect With MGI on LinkedIn
Visit the MGI Site
Visit the MGI Site
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