Introducing american supergrid

The three major components of the U.S. power system—the Western Interconnection, the Eastern Interconnection, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas - operate independently of each other and very little electricity is transferred between the interconnections due to limited transfer capacity.

Convalt Energy is proposing to build a nationwide network of HVDC power lines in three phases that would interconnect all the regions in the U.S and the various power sources that help evacuate electricity from areas that have strong potential for solar, wind and hydro and help transition renewables as the major source of electricity by 2030. One of the phases is depicted below as it connects solar power generation all across the United States especially in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico with wind power in Taxes, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah.

Image reference: Nrel interconnection seams study october 2020

This project will help with frequency response and help address extreme events that have the potential to cause outages with the recent events in Texas showing the weakness of a system that is not interconnected. Further, this project will help 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 (capex of 50 billion) and a total of 70,000 miles of HVDC with estimated capex of $100 billion.

Power generation & transmission

The core issue at stake is the fact that by 2050, United States would primarily run on renewable power. To achieve this result, we would need enormous amounts of renewable power to be delivered throughout the day and night. The consumption of electricity would change dramatically as the current peak hours would be displaced by peak hours at night time when every household that has electric car is charging its vehicles.

The demand for electricity is expected to double to 2400 GW – 70% of which would be supplied by solar, wind and geothermal power. In order to prevent outages, battery backup will be needed as solar and wind power are intermittent. Since the U.S would not have solar power generation at night, we would primarily rely on wind power which is also seasonal. This leads a tremendous reliance on battery storage which is expensive and would require investment in the tens of trillions of dollars.

convalt energy is currently developing a solution to provide 100% renewable power by 2040.