Justine McCarthy and Ed Lamoureux: Political will needed to benefit from new power line technology



Published: 04-17-2024 5:43 PM

Political will needed to benefit from new power line technology

Recent news articles about upgrading power lines with new, lighter, higher-capacity wiring have us feeling hopeful. We’d like the Gazette to report on this process, called advanced reconductoring. lt can facilitate the timely build-out of the electric grid, which is sorely needed to allow for new electricity transmission from clean energy sources to help quickly decrease carbon emissions.

Building new power lines is complicated. Obstacles include the U.S. patchwork system of regulatory bodies, regional interests, and permitting requirements. There are environmental concerns, too. But advanced reconductoring, which has already been done in many European countries, can be done much more quickly, as fewer permits are needed. It generally costs less than half as much as new lines do, and it can double a line’s capacity to transmit electricity!

Advanced reconductoring will also reduce the number of new lines we’ll need to build in the future.

The challenge to making advanced reconductoring a reality is for state and regional public utility agencies to find common ground. We need them to take concerted and cooperative action to achieve advanced reconductoring across the U.S. What all of us can do to help is to let our state officials know we want this.

By the way, the exciting prospect of advanced reconductoring inspired us to write this, our first ever letter to the editor!

Justine McCarthy and Ed Lamoureux

Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Pioneer Valley Chapter, Florence

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