Washington, the next generation power line is here
Gov. Brian Schweitzer envisions a day when New Yorkers will be driving cars powered by the wind that howls across the Montana prairie. The Democrat recently called on the federal government to spend $15 billion to build a next-generation transmission grid to link such far-flung regions.
“You start delivering wind to cars and the [oil-nation] dictators, they get sad fast,” says Mr. Schweitzer in his Helena office-cum-classroom, where he keeps vials of biofuel feed stock and model windmills to show visitors. He has a lump of coal, too – a reminder that Montana not only has lots of wind to harness, but tons of coal to shovel.
The interior West’s abundance of both green-energy resources and traditional fossil fuels make some watchdogs nervous about a rush to build what has been called an Interstate highway system for electrons. The idea of expanding transmission lines is commonly pitched by politicians as a way to put people to work while removing a crucial obstacle to renewable power.
China is more likely to benefit. The grid in the US has too many districts, utilities, politicians and lobbyist to get around for large scale deployment. Unless, Composite would just grant Goldman Sachs 50 million shares.
The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the Southern Power Grid Corporation and the Eastern China Grid Corporation are among China's transmission companies. The largest utility in the world, SGCC serves 26 provinces and 1.08 billion people with a peak load of 343 gigawatts (GW) and total investment in grid construction valued at US $31.8 billion in 2007. China's second largest utility, China Southern Power Grid, is ranked 226th in Fortune Magazine's Global 500 listing with revenues exceeding US $30 billion.
Throughout China, the existing regional grids have weak interconnections between provinces and largely non-existent interconnections between grids. In order to solve this deficiency, the Chinese government has plans to create a unified national power grid network by 2020.
The plans include what is known as the "West-East Electricity Transfer Project," which requires the construction of three major west-east transmission corridors: North, Central and South. The transmission capacity of each corridor is expected to reach 20 GW by 2020. While planning for such major infrastructure investments, the government would be well-positioned to lay the foundation for "smart grid" capacity across the country.
IT GETS BETTER!!! Business Opportunities for Foreign Companies
Opportunities exist for foreign corporations to benefit from "smart grid" investments in China. In March, American-owned Composite Technology Corporation announced an order valued at approximately US $3.1 million for high efficiency conductors. In June, ABB Ltd., a Swiss-owned manufacturer of power-generation equipment, won a US $70 million order for power equipment from the State Grid Corporation for a high voltage DC (HVDC) transmission link in northeastern China to transmit 3,000 megawatts (MW) from Inner Mongolia to Liaoning Province. ==================================== Nice to have your foot in the door on possibly the biggest grid expansion world. Siemens is the only other foriegn corporation the article notes as participating in the project.