CARMEL, Ind. and LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) will collaborate on a year-long transmission study designed to identify transmission projects with comprehensive, cost effective and efficient upgrades. Both RTOs are looking for solutions to historical challenges facing generation interconnection customers in areas where their boundaries connect, also known as seams.
“A fundamental issue facing grid transformation is the lack of transmission at requested connection points,” said Barbara Sugg, President and Chief Executive Officer for SPP. “Working together, MISO and SPP can target those areas where there are mutual benefits on both sides of our seams.”
This joint study will focus on solutions that the RTOs believe will offer benefits to both their interconnection customers and end use consumers of RTO member companies. While MISO and SPP have an existing Joint Operating Agreement that allows them to work through reliability issues, existing processes do not include the simultaneous evaluation of benefits, or allocation of cost, to both load and interconnection customers.
“Our member companies and stakeholders have told us that we need a better solution that prioritizes projects that address these gaps,” said John Bear, Chief Executive Officer at MISO. “Collaborating in this way gives us the opportunity to explore potential improvements within our own interconnection processes while informing longer-term regional transmission planning efforts in both MISO and SPP.”
Each RTO’s existing interconnection processes will proceed as planned. The study will run parallel to those with subsequent results expected to be incorporated at the appropriate time. Any projects identified by the joint study will need to be approved by the Board of Directors of the respective RTOs before moving ahead.
The study is expected to formally kick off in December 2020 and will include several joint stakeholder meetings to provide informational updates on the findings.
Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that delivers safe, cost-effective electric power across 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. MISO is committed to reliable, nondiscriminatory operation of the bulk power transmission system and collaborating with all stakeholders to create cost-effective and innovative solutions for our changing industry. MISO operates one of the world’s largest energy markets with more than $29 billion in annual gross market energy transactions.
Southwest Power Pool, Inc. manages the electric grid and wholesale energy market for the central United States. As a regional transmission organization, the nonprofit corporation is mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices. Southwest Power Pool and its diverse group of member companies coordinate the flow of electricity across 56,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines spanning 14 states. The company is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark. Learn more at www.spp.org.