Wind power may be one of the most important alternative energies in the United States, but it’s useless if we don’t have transmission lines to transport the energy from wind-rich rural areas in the Midwest to cities with large power demands. That’s where the Green Power Express–a 3,000 mile wind power superhighway designed to transmit 12,000 megawatts of power from the Upper Midwest to Midwestern and Eastern states–comes in.
The $10 to $12 billion project has been on hold since February due to bureaucratic hurdles. But now that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved transmission investment incentives, putting the Green Power Express back on track.
As a result of the approval, FERC will provide access to wind power generation and improved transfer capability as well as a host of monetary incentives, including deferred recovery for start-up costs and the the inclusion of 100% of construction work in the project’s rate base.
The project won’t be completed until 2020. When the Green Power Express is finally finished, it will provide the electrical backbone necessary to make alternative energy accessible to the masses–in addition to cutting 34 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, or the equivalent of nine to 11 million cars.