Washington, DC (Thursday, October 3, 2013) – EEI Senior Vice President Brian Wolff participated in a panel discussion today titled “America’s Infrastructure: Crisis or Opportunity?” Wolff discussed how the nation’s electric grid is changing and highlighted the record levels of investment the industry is making.
“The electric grid is the backbone of our entire economy,” said Wolff. “Our industry is leading the transformation to make the grid more flexible and more resilient to meet the growing demands of our digital society. We have seen more innovation and new technology developed over the past 10 years than in the past 100 years.”
Transforming the grid requires significant investment. Over the past 10 years investor-owned utilities have invested $670 billion and are projected to invest $95.3 billion in 2013 alone. The industry is expected to invest an average of $90 billion a year through 2015.
“The electric utility industry is the most capital-intensive industry in the country,” added Wolff. “Companies are innovating and investing in new technologies, working to upgrade existing transmission and distribution systems, developing new transmission and siting projects to meet electricity load growth, and interconnecting new sources of generation—including renewable resources. To fully realize the grid transformation it is critical that all customers who use the grid share in the expense of maintaining it so we can continue a high level of investment for the future.”
THE WEEK’s panel discussion was moderated by the West Wing Reports Founder and TheWeek.com Columnist Paul Brandus, and the panel included Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton, The Hill Political Reporter Keith Laing, and American Society of Civil Engineers Executive Director Patrick Natale.