Out West student blog

Say Watt? Investigating Dynamic Line Ratings in the West

Bella hiking the Trail of Ten Falls in Oregon. Image credit: Bella Meyn

Isabella Meyn ‘23
Hometown: Lake Oswego, OR via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Major: Public Policy
Intern, Western Interstate Energy Board

Why did you want to do this internship?

While I grew up in Brazil, the time I've spent living in the United States has been almost entirely in the West. This internship has allowed me to learn about the electricity system in the Western Interconnection, meet with experts in the industry, and contribute to shaping energy policy in a region to which I'm deeply connected. The economic & political barriers to advancing existing energy systems have always been of interest to me, and the WIEB fellowship has provided me with the opportunity to explore that interest in depth.

Describe one project you will be working on this summer. 

This summer, the graduate Shultz fellow and I have been researching the barriers to implementing dynamic line ratings in the Western Interconnection. While there are varying existing roadblocks, we have been focusing primarily on economic & policy barriers to understand how existing infrastructure can be more efficiently utilized with support from regulatory entities. 

How does this project relate to your studies and/or career goals?

Within my major, I am concentrating on resources, energy, and environment policy. While my academics have given me the necessary tools and knowledge to begin exploring that policy area, I am obtaining hands-on experience at the WIEB to further shape my future study & career plans. I hope to pursue a career in public or infrastructure finance; understanding the economic and policy implications of funding projects in power & utilities through my project has solidified my interest in that path.

How does your role support the host organization’s mission?

The WIEB aims to support the creation of collaborative energy policy between the western states. By researching a contentious issue, obtaining stakeholder perspectives through interviews, and ultimately providing a recommendation to the board, I have had the opportunity to aid in that mission directly.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I'm a big fan of hiking, especially if backpacking is involved. Because I'm residing in Denver this summer, I've also enjoyed getting to know a new city & exploring my surroundings (especially trying new restaurants!). Otherwise, I spend a lot of time with my cat, Ziggy, and my friend's dogs Sadie & Lucy.

 

Read more at the Out West Student Blog »

Recent Center News

A brine evaporation pond used to extract lithium ore in southwestern Nevada’s Esmeralda County, run by the firm Albemarle. Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr

Decarbonizing global transportation requires building a huge quantity of batteries so fleets can convert to electric power. This will mean more mining to supply the lightweight metal lithium. So far, most lithium has come from Australia, South America, and China, but eyes are turning to deposits in the United States.
View a summary of 2019 California 'Pension Tracker' data