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Every day, millions of people in Massachusetts rely on the energy grid to power our modern way of life. Thanks to a network of transmission lines that carry energy from where it’s generated to where it’s used, we’re able to heat and cool our homes, keep the lights on at our businesses, get online for work and school, and even charge our vehicles — and we rarely think twice about it. Until the power goes out. Unfortunately, many of America’s transmission lines were built in the 1950s and 1960s and were only intended to have a 50-year lifespan. We’re way overdue for an upgrade. 

Strengthening Massachusetts’ existing transmission infrastructure will ensure we can all enjoy reliable energy while also bringing thousands of new living-wage jobs to the state, lowering energy costs, and accelerating the clean energy transition.

Transmission Means Jobs

Thousands of living-wage, clean energy jobs

By some estimates, the U.S. needs to build as many as 91,000 miles of new transmission lines in the next 13 years — which means new high-paying jobs across the country. Here in Massachusetts, investments in clean energy and transmission could generate $6.8 billion in net labor income by 2040 and create as many as 32,592 good-paying jobs in the next 30 years.

Transmission Means Affordability

Electricity savings for homes and businesses

Expanding transmission infrastructure across the eastern US will allow households to tap into low-cost wind and solar energy and could potentially cut the average home electricity bill by one-third. That means the typical American household would save $300 every year on utility costs. All in all, that adds up to $600 million in savings annually across New England.

Transmission Means Reliability 

Keeping the power on when extreme temperatures strike 

On average, Massachusetts has historically experienced just 5 days a year above 90 degrees. But climate change models indicate that the state will likely see as many as 52 days above 90 degrees by 2050 — and that means more electricity demand to keep homes and businesses cool. Improving the state’s existing transmission infrastructure and building more lines will help grid operators meet energy demand and avoid the risk of blackouts when winter temperatures plunge and summer temperatures soar.

Transmission Means Cleaner Energy

Transmission is the missing link to our 100% clean energy goals

Massachusetts has ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. With abundant offshore wind and in-state solar power, the commonwealth is in a great position to reach our goals — we just need more transmission capacity to transport that clean energy from the places where it’s generated to all the places where we live, work, and play. It’s estimated that upgrading our transmission infrastructure to accommodate more renewable energy could cut carbon emissions by 1.1 to 1.2 million tons per year. Transmission is the key to a clean energy future.

Plus: Get more from the existing grid with GETs

Grid-enhancing technologies, or GETs, are sophisticated hardware or software applications that increase the capacity, efficiency, and reliability of our existing transmission systems. They can help us get the most out of our energy system while we wait for new transmission lines to go up. Massachusetts is in an excellent position to lead the nation in GETs implementations. Leaders know that charting the path toward a full transition to clean energy starts with GETs.

Additional Resources

A more reliable grid. New jobs. Cleaner power. Transmission makes it possible.