The BIGGEST Machines In The World?!

We tend not to give the grid too much thought and yet these often weary copper webs are vital – carrying the proverbial lifeblood that keeps everything going. We took a look at the Western Interconnection, a whopping great big behemoth of a grid that spans a staggering 136,000 miles from Alberta to Mexico.

Discovering that this isn’t just about carrying electricity from where it’s generated to where it’s consumed in homes, businesses or industry, but rather a much more sophisticated balancing act that can allow strategic exchanges of clean, renewable energy across massive geographies and timezones.

Send excess hydropower from British Columbia in the summer to help California when air conditioning is blasting, or send excess solar from California when the heating goes on in Canada.

This approach not only reduces the number of new renewable energy assets to make the grid greener, but offers an intriguing insight into what a mega North America Macro Super Grid could look like!

Who knew a pylon could be so fascinating?! Imogen investigates!


0:00 A Macro Grid?
0:53 Dealing with Intermittent Renewables
1:32 Swapping Clean Energy
2:09 Big Distances
2:40 Predicting the Future
4:35 Power Across The Border
5:35 AC DC
07:14 Seasonal Peaks
7:45 Sharing Renewables Nationally
9:45 The Contentious Bit
10:40 Doubling The Roll Out
11:27 What Next?!
11:52 A Greener Grid
12:29 Explore Further!

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