|  Dec 08, 2011

Wind on the Wires Cheers the MISO Board’s Approval of the Multi-Value Projects Portfolio

ST. PAUL, MINN., (Dec. 8, 2011) – Wind on the Wires congratulates the Midwest Independent System Operator (“MISO”) Board of Directors for approving the Multi-Value Project (“MVP”) portfolio, which includes 17 transmission lines, as part of the MISO Transmission Expansion Plan 2011 (MTEP). The MVP portfolio contains the Michigan Thumb Project, which was previously approved by the MISO Board; and the Brookings, SD-Twin Cities (Minnesota) Project, which was conditionally approved by the MISO Board in June 2011.

“Wind on the Wires commends the MISO Board of Directors for approving the 17 Candidate Multi-Value Project portfolio,” said WOW Executive Director Beth Soholt.  “We couldn’t be more pleased by this action, which is a testament to MISO’s commitment to constructing new transmission lines in the Midwest to, among other things, enable additional renewable energy to enter the market.  The decision also allows many consumers to benefit from the low cost and clean energy that comes from wind development and a robust transmission grid that can deliver electricity back and forth across the region depending on where the power is needed.”

Transmission is a key component to developing our clean energy future and, until now, has been a significant road block in the quest to bring large amounts of renewable energy onto the grid.  “The Midwest has not seen this significant of a transmission expansion for decades. WOW has been working with MISO since 2003 on transmission expansion to accommodate new wind power,” added Soholt.  MISO’s decision to move forward with building new transmission lines will also help state and local economies as billions of dollars of investment contribute to economic growth, and thousands of jobs are created as these projects come to fruition.

“The upper Midwest has some of the highest wind power potential in the entire world, but it cannot be utilized without significantly expanding the transmission system,” said Joe DeVito, WOW chairman of the board and vice president of development for RES Americas.  “Wind power is now one of the cheapest forms of new electric generation and MISO has demonstrated tremendous leadership by proposing a visionary expansion plan that will tap into the power of wind.”       

“We applaud MISO for expanding their transmission planning process to include the reliability, economic and public policy benefits of large, regional transmission projects,” said Melissa Seymour, the director of regional policy and regulation for Iberdrola Renewables. “The MVP portfolio of transmission projects will not only enable the delivery of renewable energy to meet state Renewable Portfolio Standards, but will facilitate the ability of low cost wind resources to serve a more expansive area of the MISO footprint.”

Soholt also thanks the Governors who have provided leadership and supported the modernization of the region’s transmission grid.  “Their efforts have been instrumental in the positive results we are celebrating today,” Soholt said.

Wind on the Wires is ramping up its efforts to fully participate in the various state regulatory proceedings for the individual MVP lines. Wind on the Wires looks forward to working with the transmission line sponsors, MISO staff, key decision-makers, groups and organizations and other stakeholders during the state implementation phase of approving and constructing transmission in the Midwest.

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Wind on the Wires is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., which is comprised of wind developers, environmental organizations, tribal representatives, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services to the wind industry. Our mission is to overcome the barriers to bringing wind energy to market by addressing technical and regulatory issues, as well as through education and public outreach.

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