Order 745

The electrical generation and supply industry is, to put it mildly, complicated. And it is complicated because of the grid. The grid is that network of transmission wires that we plug into and that always produce current. We love what the grid delivers, even though we have no idea how the grid does it.

It was many moons ago that we began to hear that the grid was under pressure, especially during “peak energy use” periods. Like in the summer months when a lot of people use electricity to power their air conditioners.  And it was during those years that discussions got more heated about building more electrical generation capacity for example, via nuclear fission.

But we are no longer at that point in the story. Since then, we have begun to find more cost effective ways for everyone to generate electricity, for example, via rooftop solar. And that has spawned quite a lot of discussion about the value of the grid being primarily local, rather than regional.

Ok — now comes the tough part. The regulation of the grid — the thing that makes it function — was designed back in 1935. And it was designed to insure that regional transition worked. Ooops. But if we don’t really need regional transmission as much? What if local generation is the future?

The US Supreme Court will hear a case soon on this issue. Stay tuned!