Our Current Grid Cannot Handle the Clean Energy Transition

Our Current Grid Cannot Handle the Clean Energy Transition

The pace of transmission expansion must more than double the rate over the last decade

LineVision’s Sensor installed on a Duquesne Light Company Transmission Tower

Throughout the past several posts on this blog, we’ve discussed the history of the grid and the challenges it faces in meeting the demands of an energy transition. Now, we’d like to offer some good news.

LineVision’s solutions have helped some of the world’s largest power utilities accelerate efforts to decarbonize the grid. By utilizing our unique, non-contact sensors, utilities can finally leverage real-time data on the health and condition of their transmission assets. Armed with that data, operators can reliably add more capacity to the power lines transmitting power from utility-scale wind or solar projects.

The recently codified Inflation Reduction Act is expected to trigger record-setting growth in wind and solar capacity. Given an existing interconnection queue of over 1.4 terawatts, grid-enhancing technologies like our dynamic line ratings (DLR) platform will go a long way to ensure we actually meet the goals set forth in the law by adding more lanes to the proverbial transmission super highway. And if we have any hope of meeting critical climate goals, we simply have to take these steps to expand the grid. Because as we know, as outlined in our last Medium entry, this grid simply can’t handle the energy transition.

In fact, according to a new report from Princeton University’s REPEAT project study, failing to accelerate transmission expansion capabilities beyond the recent historical pace (~1%/year) will increase 2030 U.S. greenhouse emissions by ~800 million tons per year, relative to estimated reductions in an unconstrained IRA case. And emissions are 200 million tons higher if transmission growth is limited to 1.5%/year. To unlock the full emissions reduction potential of the Inflation Reduction Act, the pace of transmission expansion must more than double the rate over the last decade to reach an average of ~2.3%/year. That rate of expansion is comparable to the long-term average rate of transmission additions from 1978–2020.

And we know we can increase transmission capacity without building new transmission. In fact, we recently announced a deal with Duquesne Light Company to expand our work with the Pittsburgh-based utility. After finding that our current project with the utility boosted transmission by some 25%, DLC expanded the partnership to help meet its renewable energy goals. According to Liz Cook, DLC’s general manager of advanced grid solutions, our sensors provided DLC with a “level of visibility into the performance of (its) network (helping) to ensure a more responsive and flexible grid,” while safely increasing load.

You can read more about that news here:


You can also hear more directly from our customers on our work here:

We work with more than 30 power utilities throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, helping each meet the demands of a grid that’s rapidly morphing to meet the challenges of climate change. And we do it by providing real-time data on the performance of the grid gathered through our non-contact sensors.

LineVision’s sensor installed on a transmission tower

Without grid-enhancing technology like ours, utilities are essentially flying blind, offering a “best guess” as to the load and performance of power lines. And a “best guess” doesn’t get the job done.

To learn more visit LineVision’s website