The Office of Electricity has released Grid-Enhancing Technologies: A Case Study on Ratepayer Impact, a report focused on the impacts of integrating Grid Enhancing Technologies (GETs) onto existing transmission lines. GETs can defer or reduce the need for significant investment in new infrastructure projects and increase the use of renewables by maximizing the capacity of the current infrastructure. GETs include a family of technologies including dynamic line rating (DLR), power-flow control devices, and analytical tools. The report establishes an assessment methodology and outlines key findings from a case study that evaluates a near-future scenario (2025) in the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) service area to understand how GETs could impact the region. 

Despite NYISO’s abundant wind energy resources, the area continues to incur high costs associated with congested transmission lines. The state’s goal of providing 70 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030 will require a significant investment in transmission. Installing new lines, upgrading existing lines, and building a new substation for increased transmission capacity could result in energy cost savings of $13.6 million over one year. However, these infrastructure investments, while important, can often take years.

To achieve some of these savings faster, DLR could be leveraged to calculate constraints based on real-time data and power-flow controllers (PFC) could balance overloaded lines and under-used corridors within the transmission network. These technologies would enable system operators to reduce transmission congestion. Blanketing the NYISO system with DLR could provide more accurate situational awareness and efficiency, potentially resulting in $1.7 million in avoided curtailed energy value over the year. In addition, combining DLR PFC and a new substation to increase transmission efficiencies could result in the savings of energy valued at $9.1 million.

The findings from these efforts support the Building a Better Grid Initiative that will catalyze the nationwide development of new and upgraded high-capacity electric transmission lines, making the United States’ power grid more resilient to the impacts of climate change, increasing access to affordable and reliable clean energy, and creating good-paying American jobs. This initiative is critical to reaching President Biden’s goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and a zero emissions economy by 2050.