The system planning committee of the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator’s board of directors on Nov. 8 endorsed the MISO Transmission Expansion Plan 2011, which recommends $6.5bn in electric grid infrastructure investments.
The plan recommends 215 new projects, including 16 multi-value projects, or MVPs, that provide regional benefits commensurate with costs and support state and federal energy policy objectives approved in the MISO region, MISO said in a statement.
According to the plan, those projects include American Transmission Co.’s 345-kV Pleasant Prairie-Zion Energy Center line, between Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and Zion, Ill. The company has said the line will help solve some congestion issues.
The total portfolio has 17 MVPs, a MISO spokesperson said Nov. 8, noting that the Michigan Thumb Loop project was approved in August 2010 because of Michigan’s regulatory needs.
According to TransmissionHub data, that project includes a 140-mile line, 345-kV double-circuit transmission line and four new substations. The line will begin in Tuscola County, Mich., and end at Huron County, Mich. ITC Holdings subsidiary International Transmission d/b/a ITCTransmission will own and operate the project.
The committee began reviewing the plan and MVPs in August after MISO and its stakeholders analyzed the projects for more than a year, MISO said. The committee reviewed and considered stakeholder comments along with MISO staff’s responses, before voting to recommend approval of the plan, including the MVP portfolio, to the full MISO board.
The plan now goes before MISO’s full board of directors for consideration at its Dec. 8 meeting. Final board approval would require MISO’s transmission owners to follow due diligence to construct the facilities approved in the plan.
The 2011 MVP portfolio is estimated to deliver between 1.8 to 3 times more benefits than costs, MISO added. For the average residential customer, that means an investment of about $11 a year in order to receive the annual benefit of $23 in lowered energy costs – a 109% return on investment, MISO said.
MVPs will create 74,000 jobs in the region and generate up to $49.3bn in benefits from the use of lower-cost generation, reductions in energy wasted through transmission losses, and reduced planning reserve margin requirements, Clair Moeller, vice president of transmission asset management with MISO, said in the statement.
According to the plan, the proposed MVP portfolio mitigates about 650 reliabilty violations for more than 6,700 system conditions, increasing the transmission system’s robustness under normal operation and extreme events.
Furthermore, the proposed MVP portfolio allows the delivery of 41 million MWh of renewable energy.
The plan also recommends 198 new baseline reliability, generation interconnection or other projects totaling $1.4bn for approval by the MISO board of directors.
Among other things, the plan also noted that MISO evaluated the potential impacts of four new EPA regulations, including the impact of carbon reduction retirements. Among potential impacts found is that depending on economic conditions, including the cost of environmental regulation compliance, about 13 GW of existing coal generation is at risk for retirement.