SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

June 2017 – Clean Energy Updates




Notice anything different? We are excited to unveil our new Wired In design, using our brand new Every Action platform. SACE has made a big committment to upgrading the tools we use to communicate and engage with supporters because we want you involved in the clean energy revolution. So stay tuned for new and exciting ways to take action, contact decision makers and harness social media to support clean energy in the Southeast!

June 2017 articles:

A common question about electric vehicles (EVs) is how far can they go?

How Can the Southeast Benefit from Wind Energy in Texas?

SACE Fights New Offshore Drilling Proposal


A common question about electric vehicles (EVs) is how far can they go?
SACE staff discusses EV range and tools for drivers

It’s a critical question when considering an EV, but there is not a single answer (That’s a good thing!) The key to EV range (how far the vehicle can travel on a charge) is the battery.

ev-range-mapMost EVs today with fully charged batteries have a driving range between 70 to 100 miles. According to reports, this range falls well within the average day-to-day range requirements of most Americans (the average driving range for most Americans is 37 miles per day). While less than 1% of American households have gone electric, a study from the Union of Concerned Scientists demonstrates that more than 42% could use today’s EVs. The options are also greatly expanding, with more than 32 different EV models available today that can meet transportation needs.

Within just the last year, range has also increased on most models available. Some EVs can go nearly 300 miles on a single charge. For example, the first-generation Nissan LEAF had a range of 73 miles. Now, the 2017 LEAF has an estimated range of 107 miles! Even better, the next generation LEAF, is expected to have a driving range in excess of 200 miles on a single charge.

Recently, Evatran, the owner of Plugless, wireless EV charging, developed new graphics to shed light on the range of EVs on the market. As you can see from the map, EV range varies and continues to increase.

Tesla models, to date, have the longest all-electric range of any EVs on the road. The all-electric Chevy Bolt, recently named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, can go more than 238 miles on a single charge. That means you could go from Atlanta to Charlotte or Miami to Orlando, with range to spare. The new 2017 Ford Focus Electric has increased its estimated range from the 76 miles in previous models to 115 miles.

To learn more on the EV range estimates of various models from Atlanta to various travel destinations, check out more maps on the Plugless Power website.

Increased battery range and vehicle options bring more confidence to driving electric. The longer-range batteries allow for increased long-distance travel and offer assurance to consumers of meeting their daily driving needs while having “excess” miles available for emergencies and last-minute activities.

How Can the Southeast Benefit from Wind Energy in Texas?
Proposed transmission line could provide 2,000 megawatts of clean energy


Southern Cross Transmission route under study

It’s true what they say, everything is bigger in Texas…and that includes the wind energy industry! Texas is number one in the nation for wind energy production with over 20 gigawatts of installed capacity. With such a fantastic and cheap wind resource, is there any way for the Southeast to reap the benefits? Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) has one solution: Build a new transmission line that can deliver 2,000 megawatts of clean, abundant, and cheap wind energy to our region. The line, Southern Cross, will connect to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) transmission grid system, enabling access to some of the best and cheapest wind energy resources in the country.

In early May, Pattern Development took the next step to making this transmission line a reality in submitting their proposals to the Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) for approval. Below is everything you need to know about the transmission line:

What is the proposal that was submitted to the MPSC?

Pattern Development filed a siting certificate with the MPSC. Within the petition, they included a designation of a preferred, proposed route for the commissioners to consider. The MPSC is currently reviewing and should make a decision over the next few months.

What kind of transmission line will be used?

The 400-mile line will use a high voltage direct current (HVDC) line to transport wind energy from Texas to Mississippi and the rest of the Southeast. This type of line is more efficient, experiencing 30-50% less transmission losses than an alternating current (AC) line.

What is the preferred transmission route?

The line would begin in western Louisiana just over the Texas border. The line would then cross over the Mississippi River and terminate at a converter station right along the Mississippi-Alabama border.

What are the local economic benefits?

The project will provide significant economic benefits within Louisiana, and Mississippi, including $3.9 billion in total direct, indirect, induced and fiscal economic impact. The project has many benefits for landowners of the project, generating annual average property tax payments of approximately $14.7 million. At peak construction, the project could create over 650 jobs.

What is the timeline for completion?

Pattern Development plans to begin construction of the power line in 2018 with wind power delivery as early as 2021.


SACE Fights New Offshore Drilling Proposal
President Trump restarts offshore drilling fight with coastal communities

hands2017Barely squeezing it into his first 100 days in office, President Trump signed an executive order on April 28 to begin the process of opening the Atlantic to offshore drilling, as well as expanding drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The executive order instructed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to restart the process of writing the federal plan governing offshore drilling in the nation’s waters.

The current federal offshore drilling plan, covering the years of 2017-2022, was just finalized in January 2017 after more than two years of analysis by the U.S. Department of the Interior, thoughtfully gathering comments from citizens, elected officials, businesses, and the military, and evaluating the appropriateness of offshore drilling in certain areas in the context of those opinions. While this plan unduly expanded drilling in the Gulf, the final version excluded Atlantic drilling in response to the vigorous protests of the citizens and stakeholders who worked so hard to be heard by Washington D.C.. President Trump’s eagerness to throw all of that work out the window and start again from square one shows patent disregard for citizens, local communities, and small businesses in order to grant favors to Big Oil.

SACE has begun to fight this careless proposal through public education, promoting citizen engagement, and elevating the issue in the media. We have won this fight before alongside our partners, and with your help, we will win it again.

The official planning will take two or more years to complete and will include several public comment periods. Your voice will be critical during those comment periods, so please be on the look out for action alerts from SACE (sign up here if you’re not already on our lists) to learn how you can help fight Trump’s misguided drilling plan.

In the meantime, please check out these additional resources and consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper: