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New Study: Cranking Up Midwest Wind Transmission Capacity Would Save Customers Billions of Dollars

1 min. read

A new study by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. evaluates "the overall rate impacts of adding new increments of transmission and new increments of wind to the [Midwest ISO] system." Here are a few of the key findings:

  • "Transmission-Enabled Wind Energy Leads to Reduced Electric Market Prices." How much? " According to the study, "net savings ranges from $3.0 billion to $6.9 billion per year for the 20 GW wind addition scenario, and $3.3 to $9.4 billion per year for the 40 GW wind addition scenario."
  • To put that in another way, "For an average MISO region residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month, this translates to a net savings that would range from $63 to $147 per year in 2020 (for the 20 GW wind addition scenario), and from $71 to $200 per year for the 40 GW wind addition scenario."
  • " Incremental Transmission Costs to Enable New Wind Will Be More than Offset byEnergy Market Price Reductions."
  • The bottom line conclusion: "adding more wind power to the grid in [the Midwest ISO]...would result in the continual decline of energy market prices and lead to lower electric rates for ratepayers (relative to rates in a less windy electrical landscape)—even when you factor in the costs of additional transmission."

Of course, as ClimateProgress explains in its review of this study, "consumers will only see these savings if more wind and transmission lines actually get built."  So, let's make sure we do that -- and soon!