Bay Area Council Letter to the Editor: California will benefit from regional power approach (Mercury News)
PUBLISHED: MAY 24, 2017
By Michael Cunningham Bay Area Council
Michael Aguirre’s head-scratching oped (“How governor’s regional electricity grid is flawed,” Opinion, May 24) gets only one thing right: Gov. Jerry Brown (like the Bay Area Council) is a strong supporter of enhanced western grid integration, as the solution to a balkanized regional grid that exacts a growing toll in unnecessary electricity costs, pollution and reliability risks.
Independent studies, the latest by Yale University, have repeatedly rebutted Aguirre’s claims that a better coordinated grid would somehow favor coal and stifle California renewables; as Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson wrote recently in the Mercury News the opposite is true, since coal plants always cost more to run than wind and solar plants and always lose when real competition prevails across a multi-state grid.
Finally, and most implausibly, Aguirre tries to link grid integration to the electricity crisis of 2000-2001, when in fact grid fragmentation was a major contributor to that calamity, and continues to leave us unnecessarily vulnerable.