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NEMA's eiXtra - October 5, 2010
eiXtra: published by NEMA Hot Topics
On the Hill/Around the Nation
International News
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
feature story

Siting Transmission Corridors—
A Real Life Game of Chutes and Ladders*

Oh, for the simplicity of Chutes and Ladders!

A Game That Can Take Years to Win
*Select image to view full version of Siting Transmission Corridors Game board.
In the massive effort to attain energy independence by connecting vast renewable energy resources with energy-hungry population centers, power transmission lines are both the obstacles and the solution—the chutes and ladders—to success.

Everyone wants to harness the energy from wind, sun, earth, and tides, but moving it can be tricky. Transmission corridors are the means by which energy moves from source to destination. They are integral to energy conversion and creation of a sustainable energy portfolio. They are also a source of job growth and economic opportunity.

Energy entrepreneurs, transmission developers, public utilities, state legislatures, and federal regulators are all engaged in the ultimate goal of moving renewable energy. They may all differ on siting specifics, but proponents and opponents agree—load growth, construction permits, wildlife protection, property rights, and other concerns must all be addressed before lines can be built.

Establishing a national siting policy significantly increases the likelihood of using clean, renewable energy by encompassing a single process to plan, permit, and pay for transmission lines.

While the childhood game of Chutes and Ladders can provide hours of fun and relies on luck, the real life challenge of Siting Transmission Corridors can take years of skillful navigation with millions of dollars on the line.

In the game, a ladder enables a competitor to advance quickly through the maze of daily accomplishments, while a chute represents a setback, the result of imaginary consequences. Players move their game pieces through a series of consecutively-numbered spaces, with the goal of being the first to finish.

In Siting Transmission Corridors, however, the goal is to methodically overcome financial and regulatory challenges.

In the real life scenario, renewable sources, technology, and load growth might be seen as opportunities, or ladders. Chutes, on the other hand, are aging infrastructures, rates, regulations, and litigation.

This is a contest of gateways and gatekeepers, of opportunities and consequences, of collaboration and determination. Unlike child’s play, where winning is based on chance, the challenge here is to forge alliances between new technologies and aging infrastructures, and to strategize mutually satisfactory outcomes while avoiding game-ending chutes.

Download a copy of Siting Transmission Corridors.

*Chutes and Ladders is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. for its board game.

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Hot Topics

Smart Grid—Marketing Through Collaboration
The excitement around Smart Grid is definitely catching on. Around the world and across many industry sectors, strategists are considering the impact of Smart Grid on their businesses and the economy.

Virginia Tech Officially Launches the Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse (SGIC) Web Portal
The web portal is the platform for direct sharing and dissemination of relevant Smart Grid information, ranging from background documents, deployment experiences, technologies, and standards, to on going Smart Grid projects around the world.

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On the Hill/Around the Nation

NEMA Energy Tax Provisions Advance: On September 29, Senators Bingaman (D-NM) and Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Advanced Energy Tax Incentives Act (S 3935), which contains NEMA-backed energy tax provisions. These include an increase to $3 per square foot of the commercial building tax deduction, $120 per horsepower advanced motor tax credit, $2.5 billion in advanced energy manufacturing investment tax credits, $1 billion for manufacturing facility upgrades, and $1.5 billion for grid-connected energy storage. NEMA is leading efforts for tax and policy incentives to deploy energy-efficient technologies.

House Passes Bill on Critical Minerals: The House of Representatives approved a bill (HR 6160) to establish a new R&D program within the Department of Energy (DOE) and to provide other incentives and support for the domestic development of strategic mineral resources that are critical inputs to several energy-efficient technologies within NEMA’s product scope. These include lighting, advanced batteries, and electric motors, as well as defense technology applications. The scope of concern encompasses so-called “rare earth” minerals, for which China is the primary but increasingly reluctant source, as well as other materials, including cobalt, copper, and lithium. Assistant Secretary of Energy David Sandalow told a Senate energy subcommittee last week that the department will publish a materials strategy later this fall. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). It is unclear whether the Senate will take up either bill in the lame duck session. NEMA is working with affected product sections to assist DOE with its strategy document, brief Hill staff, and track trade developments on rare earth minerals.

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International News

Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe
October 11–13, 2010, Lindholmen Science Park, Gothenburg, Sweden
The first Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT) Europe is sponsored by the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) and hosted by Chalmers University of Technology.

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Industry News


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Paul Molitor of NEMA discusses smart grid technology on Fox News

Standardizations Trends

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  • North American EBCIs Bounce Back in September Following August’s Slide
    The EBCI for future North American conditions climbed 12.1 points in September, reversing a string of three straight monthly declines. At 66.1, the index continues to indicate that more panelists than not expect further improvements in the business environment over the next six months. 09/29/10
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Market Comments by Tom Robinson
The S&P 500 was basically flat last week, but the FTSE Furofirst fell 2 percent, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.7 percent. By contrast, the FTSE Asia-Pacific index overall was up 1.4 percent on the week, paced by China, up 2.5 percent and Hong Kong higher by 1.1 percent. read more...

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NEMA's 84th Annual Meeting: Illuminations Weekend, The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL - Nov 5-6, 2010

GridWeek: The Premier Smart Grid Event, Washingnton D.C. Oct. 18-21, 2010

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2010 National Electrical Manufacturers Association. eiXtra is a biweekly e-newsletter for electroindustry professionals summarizing key manufacturer, standardization, and regulatory news. NEMA does not sell or release subscriber's personal information and will never willfully disclose individually identifiable information to any third party without first receiving your permission. Privacy policy.
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