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Transmission spending in North America to reach nearly $170 billion by 2020


June 21, 2012
By Anthony Capkun

June 21, 2012 – Transmission project spending in North America will ramp up significantly over the next eight years, with a total of $169.7 billion of projects expected to come online between 2012 and 2020, according to TransmissionHub data.

“At the same time, the industry is increasingly integrating and generating renewable resources into the power grid,” said TransmissionHub.

Nearly $70 billion of projects are scheduled to come online during the 2012-2015 period alone. Excluding suspended and cancelled transmission projects, about $7 billion of projects representing about 3100 miles of lines—the majority of which are 230 kV—are scheduled to come online in 2012.

In 2013 and 2014, that annual investment will more than double, with investments of $15.4 billion and $15.3 billion, respectively, representing 5600 and 6100 miles of lines. Those annual investments will more than double again in 2015 to $31 billion, representing 9700 miles of lines.

For the 2016-2020 period, North American transmission investment is expected to amount to $101.2 billion, with the majority of that spend ($74.3 billion) taking place at the front end of that range, or 2016-2018.

“The soaring demand for electricity and the need for increased reliability are driving a range of new projects for the North American electric transmission systems,” said Rosy Lum, chief analyst, TransmissionHub, “At the same time, the industry is increasingly integrating and generating renewable resources into the power grid.”