Advocates seek bigger role from large companies on grid planning

If U.S. corporations are serious about powering operations with renewable energy, they need to play a bigger role advocating for transmission projects, according to a recent report from a renewable energy group.

Right now, RTO operators that plan for transmission across the country are not incorporating corporate demand into their planning, O’Rourke said. And corporate power purchasers, for the most part, “are looking for ‘the deal’, not thinking about how they’re going to get it.”

“But there’s no big build behind that,” O’Rourke said, adding that corporations won’t be able to meet their renewable energy targets until another generation of transmission projects gets going. And that likely will take a while. Although large solar arrays and wind farms can be developed in under a year, he estimated that transmission lines require between two and seven years.