On January 3, 2017, FERC accepted the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) proposed revisions to its Generator Interconnection Procedures (“GIP”) and its pro forma Generator Interconnection Agreement (“GIA”) contained in Attachment X of its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”). MISO’s revisions result from an extensive stakeholder process intended to improve the efficiency of its queue for generator interconnection projects.

MISO filed its proposed revisions on October 21, 2016. MISO proposed revisions intended to minimize restudies and incentivize interconnecting customers to advance projects through the queue efficiently, or withdraw projects in a timely manner where appropriate. Specifically, MISO proposed to divide its existing Definitive Planning Phase (“DPP”) into three phases, each of which will require the interconnecting customer to pay a milestone payment that will be refundable subject to withdrawal of the interconnection project at distinct “decision points.” Further, MISO proposed specific per MW dollar amounts for each milestone payment. MISO proposed a transition plan designed to implement the three-phase DPP while avoiding queue backlogs.

Additionally, MISO proposed certain revisions intended to facilitate customer analysis and decision-making earlier in the GIP, improve transparency, and hold the transmission provider, affected systems, and transmission owners accountable for the accuracy of study results. Such revisions included: (1) amending the existing study services agreement to require a more definitive time schedule and more thorough costs estimates; (2) implementing a mandatory pre-DPP scoping meeting between the interconnection customer and the transmission owner to ensure that the point of interconnection location and project size are valid before studies commence; (3) requiring a more rigorous demonstration of site control to progress through the DPP; (4) allowance of a full refund of milestone payments for projects withdrawn due to system impact study errors and inaccurate cost estimates; (5) revised provisional GIA requirements; and other miscellaneous provisions intended to facilitate the generation interconnection process.

FERC accepted MISO’s proposed Tariff revisions upon finding that such revisions satisfy its independent entity standard for proposals submitted by independent system operators, and accomplish the purposes of Order No. 2003.

The Order Accepting Tariff Revisions is available here.