States urge quick fix to aging power lines as clean energy grows

By Jeffrey Tomich | 03/01/2024 06:39 AM EST

Legislation in several states would require utilities to consider investing in grid-enhancing technologies to accommodate more power on an aging grid.

New York City skyline and power lines

New York City skyline and transmission towers. iStock

Lawmakers in more than a half-dozen states want to require utilities to analyze grid-enhancing technologies as a way to squeeze more power through existing transmission lines and increase renewable energy capacity.

Bills to make better use of the nation’s high-voltage transmission system are pending in state legislatures across the country, from California to New York, according to a summary from the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. The Virginia General Assembly passed its legislation Thursday, while a bill in Minnesota got a committee hearing Wednesday.

Interest in grid-enhancing technologies, or GETs, is growing as utilities and grid operators plan billions of dollars of new high-voltage lines to accommodate a transition to lower-carbon sources of power. The Biden administration has set a goal of achieving a carbon-zero grid by 2035.


While new transmission is still needed, using equipment and software to increase the flow of power through existing lines offers a cheaper, quicker near-term fix.