The future of energy development is at risk without new ways of conducting that energy, according to a new group, Heartland Association for Regional Transmission (HART), that met recently to discuss the near term future of energy transmission.
Micheal Shannon of Guymon, economic development manager of Epic Touch Co., was among the attendees appointed from the nine state region known as the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). Attendees included landowners, economic developers, county officers and renewable energy advocates from New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.
“Not everyone agreed on every issue. Group discussions made it clear that resource planning is a significant challenge mostly because not everyone thinks the same things are important,” Shannon said. “All of the attendees represented their states and issues. As stakeholders – that is individuals, groups or organizations - we have a direct or an indirect stake in the Southwest Power Pool because our states can affect or be affected by the goup’s actions, objectives and policies.”
As a result, HART stakeholders agreed to meet on a regular basis for the next two years to continue discussing issues related to the power transmission grid and made a commitment to share information learned through HART with constituents and peers.
Discussion included cost issues relative to different sources of power generation, including the cost to build or install, the cost to operate, total cost per kWh, cost over time, and cost to the environment and public health. Economic impacts were also discussed, including creation of jobs, tax benefits and impact to disposable income.
A survey of the appointees in attendance showed a broad interest in seeing more wind power available to the grid and interest in seeing more hydro and solar power generation.
“In the end we agreed on this statement: ‘Future energy development in our states is at risk without new transmission. The path forward demands regional collaboration to ensure global competitiveness and economic prosperity in the Southwest Power Pool region.’”
In addition to Shannon, representing Oklahoma were Les Klickner, Enid farmer/rancher; Brent Kisling, economic development director for Enid; Britton Rife, Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative Norman; and Kylah McNabb, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma City.
Representing Kansas were Mark Richardson, Reno County farmer and Reno County Wind Energy Taskforce co-chair; Mickey Fornaro-Dean, Harvey County economic development; Boyd Orr, Mead County commissioner; and Grant Bannister, Riley County wind attorney and landowner.
Additional information about the Climate and Energy Project can be found at http://climateandenergy.org/.