ATC has changed its tune. It’s no longer using energy need to justify the building of Cardinal-Hickory Creek; now it’s all about grid reliability. Once again, this is a false issue. Our real reliability issues in Southwest Wisconsin are with the distribution lines – those wooden poles that bring electricity to our homes, businesses, and farms – not the high voltage transmission lines that ATC builds. If ATC is talking about the reliability of the national grid, of which the ATC lines are a part, decentralized micro-grids that generate power locally and that can be coupled and then uncoupled when there’s a danger of wide spread black outs, are more reliable in preventing massive grid level failures.
The electrical grids in New York State, as well as grids on our military bases, are being remade as micro-grids. Clearly, the Department of Defense knows that decentralized grids are more reliable. And then there is hacking. On March 15, 2018 the Department of Homeland Security sent a alert laying out how our grid, power plants, and other utilities were hacked by the Russians. As for Wisconsin’s grid reliability, US News and World Reports ranks us 7thin the nation in grid reliability. ATC’s argument that CHC is necessary for reliability is just one more false claim.
If you’d like to read more:
Department of Homeland Security Alert: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-074A
The hacking of the US grid: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/380033-russian-attacks-on-energy-grid-spark-alarm and https://www.wired.com/story/hackers-gain-switch-flipping-access-to-us-power-systems/
The topsy-turvy history of the American grid, including a discussion of micro-grids: The Grid, Gretchen Bakke