For the first time, shareholder-owned electric utilities and stand-alone transmission companies eclipsed the $10-billion mark in annual transmission infrastructure investment in 2010, while distribution investment held steady at $16.9 billion.
The latest EEI Annual Property & Plant Capital Investment Survey
revealed that transmission capital expenditures reached $10.2 billion in 2010. This represents a 9.4-percent increase from 2009 investment levels (in nominal dollars), as companies interconnect new sources of generation (including renewable resources) onto the grid, replace aging transmission lines, and develop new lines to ensure reliability and relieve congestion.
Going forward, transmission investment is expected to increase significantly in 2011 and 2012, before flattening out in 2013 and 2014 as major transmission projects being developed over the next year or two are completed.
Shareholder-owned electric utilities and stand-alone transmission companies plan to invest a total of $54 billion (in 2010 dollars) on transmission construction projects between 2011 and 2014. This planned investment represents a 43-percent increase over actual transmission investment from the previous four-year period (2007-2010).