An Electric Energy Backbone Overlay for North America

Gerald Thomas Heydt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper augments recently reported proposals to enhance the electric power transmission grid in North America. The augmentation suggested is to join Canada, the United States, and Mexico with a large scale, high voltage DC (HVDC) “backbone.” The objectives of such an investment include enhancement of the capabilities of the underlying AC transmission, increasing the potential of renewable wind and solar generation resources, and facilitation of the integration of natural gas generation to the North American energy resource mix. A method of calculation of expected power flows is reported based on the Kirchhoff laws and Tellegen’s theorem. That method does not replace detailed electric power flow studies, but it gives an estimation of the HVDC facilities requirements. Practicalities in long term mesoscale transmission planning and expansion are briefly discussed and the use of net present value to assess financial efficacy is suggested. It is noted that energy sales and purchases in North America form a main part of balance of payments for Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-871
Number of pages9
JournalElectric Power Components and Systems
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 9 2018


  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • North America
  • electric power transmission
  • energy sales
  • high voltage DC
  • integration of renewable resources
  • load flow studies
  • net present value
  • transmission expansion planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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