On December 8, 2011, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) Board of Directors approved MISO’s Transmission Expansion Plan 2011 (“MTEP11”). The plan includes 215 new transmission infrastructure projects and was developed over an 18 month period. MTEP11 is a comprehensive, long-term regional plan that is expected to generate over $2 billion in annual benefits for decades to come, according to MISO.
The plan recommends 215 new transmission projects, including 16 Multi-Value-Projects (“MVPs”). MVPs are a new category of transmission projects designed to optimize portability for wind generation while minimizing distances from planned transmission to other fuel sources. (See July 23, 2010 edition of the WER) According to MISO, the expected benefits of MTEP11 and its MVPs will include:
- The connection of 2,700 MW of queued generation to the existing transmission network
- 3,655 miles of new or upgraded transmission lines;
- The creation of between 17,000-39,000 construction jobs and between 28,400-74,000 total jobs;
- $49.2 billion in benefits from the use of lower-cost generation and reductions in energy wasted through transmission losses over a 20 to 40 year timeframe; and
- Reliable facilitation of delivery of 41 million MWh of renewable energy annually and resolve 650 reliability constraints for approximately 6,700 system conditions.
MTEP11 projects are expected to cost $6.5 billion and will be financed by all load within MISO through a postage-stamp rate. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approved the cost allocation plan on December 16, 2010, as just and reasonable. (See December 17, 2010 edition of the WER) FERC reaffirmed its order on October 21, 2011, conditionally accepting MISO’s compliance filing, but also directed MISO to make a further compliance filing concerning reviews of the MVP methodology. (See October 24, 2011 edition of the WER)