SEIA: Majority Leader Reid’s Bill Jump-starts Debate on Modernizing Electric Transmission Grid

New Legislation from Nevada Senator Encompasses Several of the Policy Proposals Outlined in SEIA/AWEA White Paper

WASHINGTON- The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) leadership on electric transmission and key provisions of his proposed Clean Renewable Energy and Economic Development Act:


“The Solar Energy Industries Association is grateful for the proactive leadership Senator Reid has brought to the issue of our out-dated transmission grid.Majority Leader Reid has made clear that the long-neglected electricity infrastructure will be a priority in the 111th Congress,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.“President Obama is committed to producing 25 percent of U.S. energy from renewable sources by 2025.This will not be achieved without reinvesting in our national grid infrastructure.Investment in the transmission grid will stimulate economic development, reduce electricity costs for consumers, and improve grid reliability.Senator Reid’s legislation provides a solid framework to start working on policies that will allow vast quantities of solar power to be delivered to consumers across the country.”


In February, SEIA and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released “Green Power Superhighways: Building a Path to America’s Clean Energy Future” detailing the inadequacies of the U.S. electric transmission grid and identifying policy solutions that must be implemented to address these barriers.Senator Reid’s bill encompasses several of these ideas, including:


  • Requiring interconnection-wide planning of the transmission grid
  • Allowing costs to be allocated widely
  • Providing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with some siting authority


“Creating an integrated national transmission system is an essential step to bringing renewable energy to the population centers where they are needed most,” said BrightSource Energy vice president of regulatory affairs Joshua Bar-Lev. “By implementing many of Senator Reid’s proposals, companies like BrightSource Energy will be able to move forward with projects in Nevada and other areas in the Southwest. These projects will create thousands of new jobs and position the U.S. as a leader in clean energy.”