EEI President: EEI ‘looking forward to working with’ Trump’s administration

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn said that EEI is looking forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump’s administration on the challenges and opportunities facing the electric industry.

In a statement provided to TransmissionHub on Nov. 9, Kuhn said: "EEI congratulates President-elect Trump and is looking forward to working with his new Administration to navigate the many challenges and opportunities facing our industry. Right now, our industry is in the midst of a profound transformation, and EEI’s member companies remain committed to delivering safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy. Given the importance of energy issues and the value that our industry provides to our nation, we want to ensure that we are communicating with the incoming Administration, policymakers, and key stakeholders about the investments our members are making and the projects they are undertaking to benefit their customers and our energy future."

Similarly, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan on Nov. 9 said that AWEA is ready to work with Trump and his administration to assure that wind power continues to be a vibrant part of the U.S. economy.

“An unstoppable shift to a cleaner energy economy is underway, and the fundamentals of wind energy in America are strong,” Kiernan said. “With bipartisan support for long-term policy firmly in place, and a near-record number of wind farms are under construction, our industry is saving consumers money by connecting low-cost wind power to more parts of the country. We’re putting money in the pockets of farmers who host wind turbines, keeping the farm in the family and the family on the farm. And wind power supports 88,000 well-paying American jobs, a quarter of them made-in-the-USA manufacturing jobs. States, where most energy policy is made, are likely to continue their clean energy policies.”

Tom Kimbis, interim president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said in a Nov. 9 statement: "We congratulate President-elect Donald Trump for his victory in this historic election. The solar industry, born in America, is creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments across American communities. SEIA’s 1,000 member companies – the great majority of which are small businesses – will continue to innovate and provide clean, competitive, reliable, and affordable energy for all Americans."

As noted on Trump’s website, his energy plan includes opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands, eliminating moratorium on coal leasing, and opening shale energy deposits, as well as encouraging “the use of natural gas and other American energy sources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase” the country’s economic output.

A Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) spokesperson on Nov. 9 told TransmissionHub: “The election ended only a few hours ago, and Mr. Trump has not made detailed policy statements regarding electric transmission investment. Our transmission investment is based on needs identified by regional transmission operators, like the Southwest Power Pool, and needs we see to improve reliability for our customers. If federal policy and access to capital continue to be favorable, Westar will continue to make substantial investments in transmission infrastructure.”

Transmission projects that are already under way will continue, the spokesperson said, adding that those projects will benefit customers by making the power grid more reliable and efficient, as well as make additional renewable energy sources accessible to Westar’s customers and the energy markets.

“Westar is a leader in renewable energy,” the spokesperson said. “By year end, about half the energy provided to Westar Energy retail customers will be from emission-free sources – renewables coupled with [the] Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station. Favorable prices and customer interest in renewables have driven our recent renewable energy investments. As long as the market is favorable, we will continue to invest in renewables and participate in building transmission to support their development.”

As noted on its website, Westar’s energy centers generate more than 7,000 MW of electricity, and the company operates and coordinates 35,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines.

An American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) spokesperson on Nov. 9 told TransmissionHub that the company is in the midst of an important transition to support a cleaner energy economy.

“We are transforming the transmission grid to be responsive to new resources and technologies, while at the same time balancing our company’s resource portfolio to provide new, cleaner energy and technology options for our customers,” the spokesperson said. “That will not change with a change in the Administration.”

The spokesperson continued: “Donald Trump’s support for infrastructure investment is positive as it is critical to enable technological advances and a cleaner energy economy. Given the importance of energy issues, we’re hopeful that the Trump administration can work effectively with both parties to advance a coherent, consistent, and flexible energy policy for the nation.”

As noted on the company’s website, AEP serves nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states, and owns a more than 40,000-mile electricity transmission network, as well as about 31,000 MW of generating capacity.

An Idaho Power spokesperson on Nov. 9 told TransmissionHub: “It’s very early to tell what impacts there will be on energy policy and infrastructure planning. We will work with fellow utilities and the new administration to navigate the many challenges and opportunities facing our industry.”

According to its website, Idaho Power has more than 4,800 miles of transmission lines transmitting electricity at high voltages, typically 138-kV or 230-kV, across long distances.

A FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) spokesperson on Nov. 9 told TransmissionHub that the company “will continue to execute its strategy to invest in its regulated operations, particularly transmission.”

As noted on its website, FirstEnergy has more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, and a diverse generating fleet with a total capacity of nearly 17,000 MW.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3059 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.