America is at a critical crossroads with our wind industry. America really needs a long-term plan to increase the use of renewable energy. I write today regarding one of the biggest, long-term barriers to growing this industry: The nation’s current electric transmission system. The Rock Island Clean Line will help alleviate the problem.
I am the CEO at Winergy Drive Systems in Elgin, Ill., which supports hundreds of jobs. We supply gearboxes especially designed for the wind industry, and we are a global leader for turbines and many components. Wind as an electrical resource is here to stay with costs that continue to decline. The transmission of energy the turbines produce plays a critical role in the future of the wind industry. The proposed 500-mile Rock Island Clean Line project will provide jobs, clean air and energy security.
With some of the best wind resources in the country located in remote areas, a very long way from the markets that need them, America needs new transmission. The Rock Island Clean Line is working to bring this renewable resource to market, safely, competitively, and with a clear plan. We are not in short supply of wind, but we are in dangerously short supply of wind transmission.
If we can’t figure out a way to deliver energy from remote wind resource areas to electrical load centers, then we cannot reasonably expect to have a lot of highly-trained, well-paid people working in the wind industry.
The Rock Island Clean Line project provides energy security, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability, and I support the project.
Terry R. Royer, CEO/president, Winergy Drive Systems Corporation