Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Transmission Officer Priti Patel recently participated on a panel discussion with other industry leaders at the LIUNA Laborers Training Center in Lino Lakes, Minnesota. The event, known as the Minnesota Infrastructure Summit, focused on the energy transition that is taking place in the state from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Patel said that as a cooperative, Great River Energy wants to emphasize the need for using local labor and the importance of the role transmission will play in the energy transition.
“The event was important to message to state officials and policymakers that there will be billions of dollars infused in the energy transition over the next several decades and we want to make sure local labor and our communities are direct beneficiaries,” Patel said.
The event also highlighted the key role transmission will play in a successful energy transition, along with discussions about the role of the permitting process in achieving state goals.
“I don’t think the role of transmission can be underscored enough when we talk about how we can meet the state’s energy and climate goals. A defining factor of what it will take to decarbonize by 2040, keeping reliability and affordability at the forefront, is transmission,” Patel said.
Aside from Patel, panelists included representatives from other electric and gas utilities and a permitting attorney. The panel was moderated by Katie Sieben, chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.