A debate is brewing over the future of energy delivery in the U.S.: Should we be investing in new transmission lines, or localized “Virtual Power Plants” using solar cells, batteries, and demand response techniques?
This New York Times article* explains how energy companies are pushing for more transmission lines. Transmission lines are familiar to them and known to be lucrative revenue generators. However, many energy experts say Virtual Power Plants would provide better reliability and resilience, for less cost and less environmental impact. A letter from CENSE (Seattle Times, July 18, 2021) frames the issue locally, in relation to Energize Eastside, population growth in the region, and recent heat-wave-induced power outages.
* If you don’t have access to the New York Times, you can read or listen to this interview with the author of the article.