December 07, 2020
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Railroad Electrification Council (REC) held its first Annual Meeting where Members participated in a railroad roundtable discussion, a panel on renewable energy trends and electricity, and outlined 2021 activities and priorities.
Since its inception, the REC has developed its first whitepaper on the value of rail electrification, submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on transmission incentives utilizing railroad rights-of-way, and provided input to the Nevada Department of Transportation on its federally mandated state rail plan. The 2020 REC Annual Meeting provided Members with the opportunity to explore further how both the electric power and the railroad industries can collaborate on clean energy, transmission expansion, and electric reliability solutions.
“REC Members include both manufacturers and electric utilities, and they share the vision of electric power as the principal motive power of domestic and North American railroad transportation—freight and passengers,” said NEMA Transportation Systems Division Industry Director Steve Griffith. “The REC offers a bridge between critical but disparate sectors of the economy, both of which are network industries and major components of the North American energy and transportation supply chains.”
“The REC is yet another way to push for grid modernization and infrastructure investment,” added REC Co-Founder and former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jim Hoecker, who is working with Griffith on electrification issues and advocacy outreach. “These are two network industries that are critically important to our energy future and commercial mobility. But railroads and utilities are planned and operated in different silos, which loses substantial mutual advantages. We should not underestimate how much railroads can contribute to strengthening the grid through co-location of electric facilities and, ultimately, using more clean electric power. REC is trying to make a case for change and improvement. NEMA is a great partner in this undertaking.”
For more information about how to participate in the REC and its planned 2021 activities, contact Steve Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org