The Midcontinent ISO (MISO) board of directors on Feb. 2 approved a $130m transmission investment to relieve system congestion in East Texas, MISO said, adding that the Hartburg-Sabine Junction 500-kV project qualifies as a market efficiency project and is eligible for MISO’s competitive selection process.
The project – which is expected to be in service in 2023 – includes construction of a 500-kV line with a new substation in East Texas, as well as reconfiguring the existing Sabine-McFadden and Sabine-Nederland transmission lines into the new substation, MISO said.
Market efficiency projects provide economic benefits greater than project costs through increased market efficiency, MISO said.
“Studies show the project will deliver a positive benefit-cost ratio,” Jennifer Curran, MISO vice president for System Planning and Seams Coordination, said in the statement. “The investment will strengthen the grid, alleviate longstanding congestion issues and import limitations, allowing lower-cost generation to serve customers in the area.”
A MISO spokesperson on Feb. 2 told TransmissionHub that the Hartburg-Sabine Junction project was identified through the MISO Transmission Expansion Plan (MTEP).
MISO develops the MTEP through an inclusive and transparent stakeholder process, he noted, adding that MISO evaluates various types of projects through the MTEP process that, when taken together, results in an electric infrastructure plan that is sufficiently robust to meet local and regional reliability needs, as well as enable competition among wholesale capacity and energy supplies in the MISO markets.
MISO said that the Hartburg-Sabine Junction project is MISO’s second to undergo competitive selection, a process established by FERC Order 1000.
MISO noted that it will issue a request for proposals on Feb. 6, with qualified developers to have until July 20 to submit proposals. MISO said that it is required to announce a selected developer for the project by the end of this year.
The spokesperson noted that the routing of transmission lines and siting of substations are determined by developers and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, with developers required to obtain permitting.
He noted that the first MISO project to undergo competitive selection is the Duff-Coleman EHV 345-kV competitive transmission project.
As TransmissionHub reported, MISO in December 2016 said that LS Power Associates L.P.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Republic Transmission LLC, which is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., has been selected through MISO’s competitive developer selection process to develop the Duff-Coleman project in southern Indiana and western Kentucky.
Republic Transmission’s proposal includes one proposal participant, Big Rivers Electric Corporation, MISO said at that time, adding that LS Power and Hoosier Energy have entered an agreement for Hoosier Energy to acquire a percentage of ownership in Republic Transmission and provide operations and maintenance for the segment of the project in Indiana.
The spokesperson on Feb. 2 provided an update on the Duff-Coleman project.
According to that update – for the period ending Sept. 30, 2017 – the forecast in-service date for the project is Jan. 1, 2021, and right of way (ROW) acquisition was in progress. Under regulatory status, the update noted that request for authority to operate as a public utility was filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and an incentive rate filing was made with FERC.