Prepared by Julia Frayer, Eva Wang, Marie Fagan, Barbara Porto, and Jinglin Duan of London Economics International LLC
WIRES commissioned London Economics International LLC (“LEI”) to provide a White Paper on the myths and truths about transmission investment. The views of key decision makers regarding the need for transmission investment are often governed by widely-believed but outdated or inaccurate myths regarding the key drivers for investment, such as: trends in electric demand and supply; the cost of infrastructure and who should pay for it; benefits of investment; and the interplay between transmission and various new technologies. This White Paper identifies the principal myths surrounding consideration of transmission projects in regulatory, industry, and political circles and then explains why those myths are typically baseless, false, and misleading. The paper uses real-life examples of transmission investment projects to debunk these harmful misconceptions. In order to offer a more accurate portrayal of the need to invest in transmission infrastructure, this White Paper concludes with recommendations for practical and feasible improvements to the process of evaluating transmission projects.