Regional Generation Outlet Study 


Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), passed by most Midwest ISO member states, mandate that increasing amounts of statewide electrical energy come from renewable energy sources.

Midwest ISO recognized that implementing RPSs would require regionally compliant transmission portfolios that could continue to deliver wholesale energy at the lowest possible total cost. So, Midwest ISO, with the assistance of state regulators and industry stakeholders, conducted the Regional Generator Outlet Study (RGOS).

RGOS Studies Objective

States needed a plan for identifying and developing regionally coordinated transmission projects. To help meet their needs, RGOS study objectives included:

  • Analyzing and planning for each state’s renewable portfolio standards.
  • Setting goals for meeting load-serving entities’ renewable portfolio standards.
  • Balancing distribution of wind zones to consider local desires, optimal wind conditions and distances from load.
  • Providing consumers with energy solutions at the least-possible cost.
  • Identifying transmission expansion starter projects.

Study Overview

RGOS included a series of sequential studies and projects designed to meet the stated objectives.

RGOS, Phase I
RGOS I analyzed the transmission necessary to interconnect and deliver wind to load for the western portion of Midwest ISO’s region.

RGOS, Phase II
A shorter-term study, RGOS II determined renewable energy requirements for the entire Midwest ISO footprint, resulting in the need for an exhaustive transmission plan.

RGOS Combined
The third phase, or the RGOS Combined study, extended transmission plans and renewable energy requirements to create a cohesive plan for the entire Midwest ISO footprint.

The identified, best-fit solution calls for a transmission overlay throughout all Midwest ISO states that delivers energy from a set of distributed wind zones with varying capacities and distances from loads. The study’s proposed approach to wind zone distribution was approved or endorsed by:

Starter Projects
As a practical first step towards meeting renewable resource requirements as well as improving transmission economics and system reliability, RGOS, in combination with other reliability and economic studies, identified an initial set of first mover, or ‘starter’ projects. These starter projects are not meant to pre-determine a particular future; they are meant to provide support for the short-term transmission upgrades needed to support the states’ RPS and other reliability, economic, or policy needs.

Additional Resources

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