Thoughts from a Post-Rocky Mountain Clean Energy Transmission Summit World

The Rocky Mountain Clean Energy Transmission Summit is behind us and what an event it was! Headlined by an impressive host of public and private sector leaders, journalists, and other energy and transmission experts, over 100 attendees participated in our Denver summit.

Owing to a remarkable array of perspectives and experiences, conversations covered many issues, offering unique solutions to though problems.

But one message seemed to carry over the rest—a message that moderator and Senior Editor at High Country News wrote about later in his article, Transmission: the missing link in the renewables revolution.

In the critical context of climate change and renewable energy, the argument for transmission is as follows: in order to cut carbon to the level we must by 2050, we need 100,000 MW of renewable power. That necessitates at least 25,000 miles of new high voltage transmission. In other words, we need enough transmission to cross the country, going east-west, over 9 times. But those wires are not easy to put up. In fact regulators, nationally, regionally and locally can make putting up transmission a long and difficult process, despite being easier than it has been in years past as a result of FERC Order 1000.

On top of all that, to connect renewables—which often are located in rural areas—to urban centers you need to put up transmission, transmission must be built to cross those rural areas. Often, that means going through the wilderness. And that has turned many environmentalists, who would otherwise support the infrastructure that is needed for renewable power, against it.

And there are many other groups who have their own issues with new transmission.

So this is the task at hand: to find a way to address complex regulation and the concerns of all those affected by new transmission so that we can find a way to build the infrastructure needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

As one can see, this is exactly why getting stakeholders in the same room as experts who represent many backgrounds—from government to contractors to environmentalists—is critical to progress.

In that vein, we’d like to extend a massive thank you to our sponsors, speakers, moderators, and attendees who made the Denver event a great one.

We hope that you’ll be able to join us at our next event. Stay tuned.

Rocky Mountain Lake Picture

Denver Grid Event to Showcase Challenges & Solutions for Clean Energy in the West

In many ways, the Mountain West is a bellwether for the nation when it comes to renewable energy. Massive regional potential shapes critical energy discussions that could translate into more local energy and a more sustainable future. Yet, there are roadblocks to the widespread acceptance of clean energy, and one of the biggest is a lack of high quality transmission.

Without a modern grid to transport clean energy, often generated far from developed areas, to the urban centers that need it the most, resources like wind and solar will never reach their full potential. We need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to energy infrastructure in order to ensure a high quality energy future for the Mountain West, and for the nation.

That’s why we’re hosting the Rocky Mountain Clean Energy Transmission Summit on Wednesday, January 9th, at the History Colorado Center. Leaders from across the energy spectrum—from businesses to regulatory bodies, from government to media—will convene to discuss these critical issues, shedding light on the problems we face, the solutions at hand, and our energy future. The event will feature such speakers as FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, and former Governor Bill Ritter. There is no cost to register, and breakfast & lunch are on us.

We hope you can join us, click here to learn more or to RSVP. See you there!