This paper discusses the use of advanced technologies to enhance performance of the national transmission grid (NTG). We address present and developing technologies that have great potential for improving specific aspects of NTG performance, strategic impediments to the practical use of these technologies, and ways to overcome these impediments in the near term.
Research and development (R&D) infrastructure serving power transmission is as badly stressed as the grid itself, for many of the same reasons. The needs are immediate, and the immediate alternatives are few. Timely and strategically effective technology reinforcements to the NTG need direct, proactive federal involvement to catalyze planning and execution. Longer-term adjustments to the R&D infrastructure may also be needed, in part energy policy can evolve as the NTG evolves.