Humboldt County’s transmission infrastructure is old. Connections to the larger grid are weak and undersized, forcing Humboldt to be reliant on the fracked gas-burning Humboldt Bay Generating Station because we cannot pull enough power from our grid connections to keep the lights on. And, conversely, those same undersized powerlines mean we cannot export the power that would be generated from offshore wind. Until new grid infrastructure is operational, offshore wind can’t be operational.
While offshore wind is driving grid improvements, grid improvements can also benefit Humboldt. With improved grid connections, we can shut down our greenhouse gas-spewing power plant. And improvements to the grid can improve energy resiliency for communities like Hoopa that frequently experience outages.
Arne Jacobson of the Schatz Energy Research Lab joins the EcoNews to discuss recent research produced by Schatz on transmission infrastructure planning.