February 04, 2021
Recommendations address Nevada climate change executive order
The Railroad Electrification Council (REC), organized by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), announced its contribution to the recently-released 2021 Rail Plan of the Department of Transportation of the State of Nevada (NVSRP), explaining the benefits of electrifying rail transportation and employing railroad rights-of-way for siting electric transmission.
State Rail Plans are mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration, but only one other state has ever included electrification. In the plan, the REC recommended that Nevada begin examining an electrified rail system's economic, operational, and environmental benefits. The REC rail electrification ideas reflect steps toward implementing the Nevada Governor's Executive Order, which calls for "support for transportation electrification and demand management, including infrastructure, fleet procurement, alternative funding mechanisms, and other programs."
"The REC promotes the adoption of electricity as the principal motive power of domestic railroad – freight and/or passenger – transportation and as an enabler of electric grid integration and innovation," said NEMA Transportation Systems Division Industry Director Steve Griffith. "The REC supports Nevada's forward-looking planning into innovative rail electrification technologies and operations."
"Electrification of all forms of transportation will be strategically important for energy policy, electric grid integration, and economic development. We think that Nevada has opened an important discussion for two network industries that are important to its economy," added Jim Hoecker, REC Co-Founder and former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. "The REC believes that state and federal policymakers are coming to understand that the clean energy economy, electrification trends, and the nation's competitiveness concerns require a more strategic approach to achieving synergies among critical infrastructures, including railroads and the electric grid."
Michael Sussman, CEO of Strategic Rail Finance, consultants for the NVSRP, said, "We welcome the contribution of the REC to the plan, which underscores the synergies of connecting two parallel industries while providing clean motive power to an already efficient transport mode."
For more information about how to participate in the REC and its planned 2021 activities, contact Steve Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org.