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MISO and SPP to Study Solutions for Transmission Seam Challenges

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DW Keefer's picture
Journalist, Independent Journalist and Analyst

DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

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  • Sep 25, 2020

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) will launch a year-long study to identify transmission projects with “comprehensive, cost effective and efficient upgrades.”

The Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) said they 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 CEO for SPP.

The study is expected to formally kick off in December and will include several joint stakeholder meetings to provide informational updates on the findings.

Although 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.

Member companies and stakeholders have told the RTOs that they need a better solution that prioritizes projects that address these gaps.

Each RTO’s existing interconnection processes will continue as planned. The study will run parallel to those with results incorporated at some future time. Any projects identified by the joint study will need to be approved by the Board of Directors of each RTO before moving ahead.

MISO delivers electric power across 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. SPP manages the electric grid and wholesale energy market for the central United States.


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