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Cases in Engi Economy - 45

Cases in Engi Economy - 45 - Cuse 4 5 Should the...

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Cuse 4 5 Should the Trunsmission Intertie Be Built? Transmission interties are high-voltage power lines that link different electric power generation sources into networks. Goals include increased reliability, decreased power cost, and shared reserve capacity. However, interties cost money to build and operate. Power is lost during long-distance transmission. In scenic and wilderness areas transmission lines and towers generate controversy. Many consider interties to be visual eyesores which have economic impacts through decreased tourism. Access roads and right-of-ways also increase human pressures on wildlife. In urban and suburban environments there are concerns over a possible link between electro-magnetic force (EMF) and human health. All electricity users receive benefits, but disbenefits affect only those who live, work, or play near the transmission line. This creates political problems due to a NIMBY attitude (not !n my backyard). A proposed 230kV intertie would create a second connection between Anchorage and Fairbanks. This is along a separate geographical route from the existing l38kV transmission line, which was built in the late 1960s. That line is scheduled for major maintenance that will shut it down for 5 construction seasons. The geographical separation means that a single cause, such as an avalanche, cannot sever both links. With this connection, Fairbanks can rely less on coal- and oil-fueled generation and more on cheaper Anchorage sources (natural gas and hydro). With the single existing transmission line the system is vulnerable to failure, and very cold winter temperatures in Fairbanks (it can be -50"F for a month at a time)
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