There are three major components of the United States power system: the Western Interconnection, the Eastern Interconnection, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Due to limited transfer capacity, each operates independently and minimal power is transferred between components.
Convalt Energy is developing a nationwide network of HVDC power lines to connect these components. The various power sources will help evacuate electricity from areas with strong potential for solar, wind, and hydro. The goal is to make renewable power America’s major source of electricity by 2030.
There are three phases to this project. One phase is depicted below as it connects solar power generation across the United States, especially in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, with wind power in Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah.
For America to be able to run on renewable power by 2050, we need enormous amounts of renewable power delivered day and night. As more households utilize electric vehicles, consumption of electricity at night could increase dramatically.
The outages in Texas demonstrate the need for a connected supergrid. This project will help with frequency response and help to avoid outages by addressing extreme events. The supergrid will move electricity across regions and enable significant investments in renewables across the country. The project includes a base case of 29,000 miles of HVDC lines (capital investment of $50 billion) and a total of 70,000 miles of HVDC, with an estimated capital expenditure of $100 billion.
The demand for electricity is expected to double to 2,400 GW by 2050, roughly 70% of which would be supplied by solar, wind, and geothermal power. Battery backup will be needed to prevent outages, as solar and wind power are intermittent. Since solar power generation is not possible at night, we would primarily rely on wind power, which is only seasonal. This leads to a tremendous reliance on battery storage, which is expensive and requires tens of trillions of dollars in investments.
Convalt is developing this transmission corridor that would start in Northern Maine and traverse Maine and eventually into Boston and New York City. This transmission line would carry 4.8 GW of electricity produced by solar, wind, and waste-to-power. This project would interconnect with the regional ISO’s and help deliver clean power to businesses and residents across the Northeast.