On December 5, 2017, FERC approved a trio of proposed revisions to the Open Access Transmission, Energy, and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”) of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”).  These revisions all pertained to MISO’s Competitive Developer Selection Process, memorialized in Tariff Attachment FF, which sets out the process for identifying certain transmission facilities within a regional transmission project as well as qualified developers to construct the facilities.  FERC approved the proposed revisions after finding that they would improve MISO’s Competitive Developer Selection Process and make it more efficient.

MISO implemented its Competitive Developer Selection Process as part of its FERC Order No. 1000 compliance.  Through this process, once MISO has identified, and its Board has approved, a necessary regional transmission project, MISO issues a Requests for Proposals (“RFPs”) for Qualified Transmission Developers to construct the new facilities using regionally allocated costs.  MISO then evaluates the proposals using different weighted evaluation criteria before ultimately granting a proposal and allowing the project to proceed.

On October 6, 2017, MISO submitted three proposals to enhance its Competitive Developer Selection Process. One proposal sought to allow MISO to stagger the release of multiple RFPs (as opposed to releasing them simultaneously) in the event that MISO’s Board approves multiple Competitive Transmission Projects at the same time.  A second proposal sought to allow MISO to holistically evaluate multiple Competitive Transmission Facilities, as opposed to evaluating them in isolation, as the Tariff would otherwise require.  As part of this proposal, MISO suggested changes to the weighted criteria to better account for different and additional challenges posed by projects incorporating various kinds of facilities (i.e., Mixed Facility Projects).  The final proposal sought only to clarify, update, and correct various Tariff provisions related to the Process, including grammatical and formatting errors.

FERC approved MISO’s three Tariff proposals, finding them each just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.  Specifically, FERC found that the RFP staggering proposal would enable MISO to more efficiently utilize its staffing and other resources.  For the holistic evaluation proposal, FERC agreed with MISO that a more comprehensive approach to evaluating multiple projects would promote “efficiency and analytical rigor in the Competitive Developer Selection Process.”

The Order on MISO’s proposal to allow the staggered RFP release can be found here, the Order allowing more holistic evaluation of Competitive Transmission Facilities can be found here, and the final Order approving various streamlining edits to related Tariff provisions can be found here.