In this section, WIRES provides access to the latest multimedia presentations on transmission.
Electric Transmission - A Survey Course (Parts 1,2)
This year's WIRES University provided an understanding of the basic operational facts about the high-voltage grid (including a basic understanding of how it is regulated and by whom), the technologies that animate it, and the major policies and economic realities that drive it.
Speakers included leaders from Congress and regulatory agencies, the industry, and think tanks. WIRES University – The Survey Course focused on some current controversies involving grid cybersecurity and the impacts that EPA's Clean Power Plan could have on the electric system.
In six short hours, the objective was for attendees to have an understanding of why transmission infrastructure is critical to the economic life of the United States as well as what challenges need to be overcome by current efforts to expand or upgrade the transmission system.
Electric Transmission 101
July 9, 2013 — WIRES held a briefing about the operational basics of high-voltage transmission to help explain the complex economic and policy challenges facing the grid in the 21st century.
By delving into the grid's operation and the interstate markets for bulk power it supports, the briefing was designed to provide a foundation for discussions about cost responsibility, land use issues, transmission planning, integration of variable renewable energy resources, and other issues that are becoming more important to the future of the power industry.
Electric Transmission 201
March 26, 2014 - WIRES held a briefing on the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Moreover, the planning and regulation of this fundamental infrastructure is complex, often uncoordinated, and slow to produce results. However, despite the combined effects of the recession and greater energy efficiency, the grid will be called upon to serve 30 percent more electrical demand over the next two decades.
Modern transmission is the fundamental enabler of competition, new technologies, and our high standard of living. Upgrading and expanding the system is a priority. Transmission 201 provided a basic understanding of how the high-voltage system works and then moved to key issues affecting the grid: economic regulation; actual siting and permitting of the facilities; the regional markets that transmission supports; and the range of diverse economic, environmental, and operational benefits that transmission provides to the whole electric system and electricity consumers.
Electric Transmission 301
June 10, 2014 - WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing about the key challenges and opportunities facing electric transmission infrastructure development. In light of Super Storm Sandy, the attack on the Metcalf Substation in California, and growing cyber threats to the grid, transmission owners, planners, and operators are devising new approaches to ensure high levels of reliability and grid security. Second, the magnitude of the current need to ensure efficient power markets and access to diverse energy resources makes development of robust transmission infrastructure a national priority. The shale gas revolution provides an additional reason to strategically plan the expansion and modernization of the grid while addressing pipeline constraints and access to renewable resources. Finally, these developments are being dealt with in a more competitive bulk power environment, including competition to own, build, and construct important new transmission facilities. New entities and joint ventures are emerging to augment the historical role of incumbent load-serving entities with respect to strengthening the grid regionally and inter-regionally..