2018 Annual Report - Transmission

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2018 Annual Report - Transmission

CGA advocates for renewables at MISO

Transmission is the “road to market” for renewable energy.  Since most new utility-scale wind and solar resources are located in rural areas, transmission is needed to transport this clean, low-cost energy to the electric grid where consumers can benefit from it.  CGA is the 'go-to' subject matter expert working ‘behind the light-switch’ advocating for renewables and ensuring there is adequate access to the MISO electric grid. We also work to ensure transmission capacity is available for renewables, and transmission projects are completed. 

Highlights

  • CGA met with the Environmental Law & Policy Center who is representing the Driftless Area Land Conservancy against the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line in Wisconsin to understand their concerns about the line.  Read more about our work to support this vital line.

FAST FACT

36% increase in forecasted amount of renewable resource expansion in MTEP.

  • At MISO, our advocacy resulted in an increase in the forecasted amount of renewable resource expansion in MTEP from a maximum amount of 52.8 GW in MTEP 18 to a maximum amount of 72GW in MTEP19.
  • CGA worked to transition the MISO Interconnection Process Task Force (IPTF) into the Interconnection Process Work Group (IPWG). After 10 years as a task force, the IPWG provides a more permanent group at MISO to address ongoing important issues for generation developers.

BY THE NUMBERS

CGA Staff gave a presentation to 45 OMS commissioners and staff on the interconnection and cost allocation challenges and the need for more transmission. We encouraged the group to make these issues a priority and work with us to support the study of additional transmission.

  • CGA submitted multiple comments to MISO, advocated in stakeholder meetings, and made one formal presentation to support MISO’s plan to file cost allocation changes that should increase the possibility of approval of regional cost sharing of economically beneficial transmission upgrades.  These proposed changes will lower the voltage threshold for cost sharing, and increase the benefits included in the evaluation of projects.  We were also successful in keeping MISO from eliminating the Multi-Value Project (MVP) cost allocation category which was so successful in supporting 17 regionally beneficial projects that were approved in 2011.
  • CGA led technical advocacy efforts on MISO Generator Replacement policy to ensure fossil fuels do not have an advantage in the MISO marketplace when utilities retire coal plants and that the final Generator Replacement policy is consistent with existing Generator Interconnection and Material Modification policies.
  • CGA continued to advocate for a forum at MISO to discuss and make progress on Hybrid Interconnection policy. There is great interest in adding solar or storage to existing generation sites but changes to business practices and the MISO tariff will be required. 
  • Following advocacy over a number of years and support for this issue through MISO’s Market Roadmap Survey, MISO has included an effort to develop Dynamic Line Ratings in its Market Roadmap Work plan for 2019.  If implemented, Dynamic Line Ratings can increase the amount of available capacity for use on the transmission grid without building new transmission lines.  This is especially important because it allows for increased capacity during high wind periods given that wind speed is directly related to capacity on the lines.
  • CGA worked hard in 2018 to ensure better alignment between MISO’s annual Transmission Expansion Plan (MTEP) and generator interconnection (DPP) policies and studies. MISO had originally proposed to only allow RAS (Remedial Action Schemes), load shedding and redispatch as options to mitigate constraints that were the responsibility of Transmission Owners, but as a result of CGA's input, the same language was also put in BPM 15, which applies to mitigating constraints in the Interconnection Process. Previously, without this language, these options could not even be considered.