Utilities should not get to play outsized role in new transmission projects


Article originally appeared as a Letter to the Editor, Boston Globe, Oct. 1, 2017


The Sept. 24 editorial “A massive project demands basic transparency’’ comes at a crucial time in the Commonwealth’s push for a new generation of clean energy sources. Utilities play an important role in maintaining a reliable energy system, but other companies should be allowed to compete to build the infrastructure needed for clean energy.

The Baker administration and federal regulators have promoted open and competitive selection of new transmission projects, but in Massachusetts the incumbents get to design the rules of the competition, develop projects that will fit those rules, and be on the panels that select the winners.

There’s an easy fix: If a utility has a project in the competition, it shouldn’t be on the panel that selects the winner.


Edward N. Krapels

The writer is chief executive of the energy transmission firm Anbaric