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02.22 Europe faces 'biodiversity oblivion' after collapse in French birds, experts warn

02.22 World's food supply under 'severe threat' from loss of biodiversity

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02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

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02.22 So How's Your Tax Refund? Thanks to GOP Tax Scam, Big Banks Made Extra $28 Billion Last Year

02.21 Why Bernie Sanders Matters More Than People Think

02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

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02.19 California Leads 16 States Suing to Block Trump Border Plan

02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

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02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

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02.21 Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant

02.20 A Centuries-Old Idea Could Revolutionize Climate Policy

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Sanders Has an Advantage, and It’s Not [Just] About Economics

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02.22 Trump has turned foreign aid into shabby political theatre [Psychopaths are a sub-human species without empathy or morals.]

02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

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  PATH is the Sensible, High-Tech Solution Critical to Our Region
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OPINION:

PATH is the Sensible, High-Tech Solution Critical to Our Region

by H. Russell Frisby, Jr.
Thursday, 21 May 2009

We’ve come a long way in electricity generation with nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and other renewables, but we must have a reliable transmission system to get this power to where it’s needed, regardless of how or where it is generated.

Let’s assume it’s a hot sunny day in July. The demand on our region’s electric transmission grid is at its peak—it’s operating at full capacity. Something happens to cause a piece of the grid to fail somewhere in our region. The system is designed so if a section fails, the one nearest to it picks up the increased load. This section is at full capacity and can’t handle the increased load. It also fails. A domino effect results in a major blackout that impacts thousands of homes and businesses.

Today, our region could be faced with a similar scenario. Our section of the grid cannot handle additional strain. We have been forced to search out the most viable solution that will reinforce our entire region’s reliability to ensure our regional power supply can handle future demands.

I know many residents have questions and concerns about the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, or PATH—a project of Allegheny Energy and American Electric Power to construct a new, 765-kV transmission line that will begin near Charleston, West Virginia and end in western Maryland. But, the purpose of PATH is to reinforce our entire region’s grid system because our section of the grid can’t handle the additional demands. It’s something that cannot be delayed any longer.

Benefit of a 765-kV line

The 765-kV technology of PATH offers the greatest load-carrying capacity in operation in the country today. It will minimize land use impacts and greatly reduce line losses that can occur over long distances. At this voltage, several times the power of lower voltage lines can be transmitted over long distances with only 200 feet of right of way. Transmission at 765-kV also offers greater reliability due to its line design. With only one line outage per 100-mile year, 765-kV reliability surpasses all other voltage classes.

Underground lines are not an option

The use of HVDC technology (underground lines) is not an option for PATH. First, there are only a few short lengths of HVDC cable underground—all significant lengths are underwater cables where future interconnections aren’t a factor.

Secondly, large, complex and expensive multi-story AC/DC conversion stations would be required at the line ends and any point along the line where it would connect to other utility substations. This would significantly increase the size of the project’s substations. Thirdly, the AC/DC conversion process consumes significant amounts of energy. There are no transmission lines of this length, voltage or capacity that have ever been placed underground, nor has the technology been commercially developed at this voltage level. But most importantly, even if only a portion of the line was underground, the cost would be 10 to 20 times more than the current system and those costs could be allocated to the locale requiring the use. I’m sure Maryland residents wouldn’t be amenable to these kinds of costs.

Past, present and future

We’ve come a long way in electricity generation with nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and other renewables, but we must have a reliable transmission system to get this power to where it’s needed, regardless of how or where it is generated.

The filing applications for regulatory approvals in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia took place earlier this month. The approval process is expected to take about a year.

PATH is the sensible solution to preventing future reliability concerns, while ensuring our regional power supply can handle the demands of a growing society.

I am confident in my belief not only as a former chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission and a 30-year industry veteran, but also as a resident of Maryland and businessman in the District of Columbia.

I support PATH and hope you will, too. I would encourage you to learn more about PATH at the project Web site at www.pathtransmission.com.


H. Russell Frisby, Jr., a partner of the law firm of Fleischman and Harding LLP, is a former chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission.



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This story was published on May 21, 2009.
 

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