Quadrennial Energy Review on Nationwide Tour of Public Meetings

The American public has the opportunity to influence the Administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review. Please read through the following to see how you can provide public or written comment in any number of cities throughout the Summer months.

Initiated in the opening days of 2014, the Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies are now significantly underway in the comprehensive Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) process. The first annual element of the report—due in January, 2015—will focus on U.S. energy infrastructure.  In additional to rail, pipeline, and waterborne transportation modes for energy, there will be significant focus on electricity transmission, storage and distribution – a system without which the other elements of our economy cannot function.  The QER is intended to comprise a foundational document for future policy, one that will provide a wealth of new research and analyses, especially on the system risks, vulnerabilities, and gaps.  The goal is to present today’s facts clearly and objectively so that bipartisan agreement can be reached on critical resource and policy questions that will yield the energy infrastructure for tomorrow.   Hopefully, this will provide a basis for action, whether that means convincing Congress to enact legislation, prompting direct Executive action where existing law and policy allows, providing the basis for federal and state regulatory decision-making, or offering official legitimacy and momentum to private stakeholders and related parties who envision and would carry out a renewed build-out of a deteriorating system of energy infrastructure.  Not to mention, the report should provide fresh perspective to those who might otherwise oppose such a needed build-out.

The Administration has made very clear to us that it wants to hear from a diverse set of stakeholders as well as members of the general American public. Led by the DOE Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis as the QER Secretariat, it is in the course of a nationwide tour of public meetings in a set of diverse cities, each with a designated theme from among the energy infrastructure issues. If you or your organization are able, through expertise and experience, to bring perspective to electric grid needs or other infrastructure issues—whether local, state, regional or national—you should seriously consider attending one of the meetings and providing a 3 to 5 minute public comment, or submitting written comment to the DOE. Each meeting will feature invited panelists who will focus on a specific infrastructure issue, but that does not mean that public comment about different infrastructure topic, such as the need for an expanded, integrated clean energy grid, is excluded.

Below is a list of the upcoming meetings (at the bottom is a list of past meetings). You may click each link for more information. Americans for a Clean Energy Grid highly encourages your participation in these meetings. In order for the Administration to adequately capture and address the myriad needs of a nation with so many flavors in the QER, it will require insight from the experiences of its people.

If you do decide to submit comment, whether public or written, on electric transmission issues, Americans for a Clean Energy Grid is happy to review and help you finalize your comments. If interested in doing so, please e-mail Dustin Thaler.


QER Public Meeting in Portland, OR: Electricity Transmission, Storage and Distribution – West
July 11, 2014 – 9:00 A.M. PDT

QER Public Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA: Natural Gas: Transmission, Storage and Distribution
July 21, 2014 – 9:00 A.M. EDT

QER Public Meeting in Denver, CO: Gas-Electricity Interdependence
July 28, 2014

QER Public Meeting in Chicago, IL: Rail, Barge, Truck Transportation
August 8, 2014

QER Public Meeting in Bismarck, ND: Infrastructure Constraints
August 8, 2014

QER Public Meeting in Santa Fe, NM: State, Local and Tribal Issues
August 11, 2014

QER Public Meeting in Cheyenne, WY: Infrastructure Siting
August 21, 2014


QER Public Meeting in San Francisco, CA: The Water-Energy Nexus

QER Public Meeting in New Orleans, LA: Petroleum Product Transmission & Distribution

QER Public Meeting in Providence, RI & Hartford, CT: New England Regional Infrastructure Constraints



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R&D Efforts Focused on Maximizing Existing Transmission Grid

An interesting article in Intelligent Utility reviews a number of the research and development (R&D) priorities facing transmission and renewable power development. One of those priorities is maximizing the capacity and efficiency of the existing grid. Given the levels of congestion already occurring in many parts of the grid, it will be impossible to add the renewable energy we need (and in some places require through renewable portfolio standards) without expanding transmission capacity.

To address this, researchers are reviewing new technologies to transmit power over existing lines and rights of way, as well as new processes to provide more real time data to grid managers. The North American SynchroPhasor Initiative keeps an updated list of such projects that you can search here.