AWEA, and Wind on the Wires File Comments with FERC on Midwest Transmission Cost Allocation Proposal

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and Wind on the Wires (WOW) filed both supportive and opposing comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a proposal by the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) that could encourage the development of wind resources.

The MISO proposal will replace an "interim" cost proposal that required generators to pay nearly all the costs of network upgrades. AWEA and WOW protested that filing, arguing that it was equivalent to requiring the next car on a congested highway to pay for the full cost of adding a new lane. AWEA generally supports the current MISO proposal, with some modifications, as it represents a significant improvement over the existing cost allocation proposal.

The proposal would create a new category of transmission projects called Multi-Value Projects (MVPs). The MVP concept is based on the recognition of the various, widely-shared benefits provided by enhanced transmission infrastructure. Lines designated as MVPs would receive broad cost allocation across the MISO footprint. MVPs would help develop needed transmission infrastructure and provide access to wind energy, which would enhance states’ ability in that region to achieve their renewable energy requirements and create new jobs.

“The proposed MVP policy says that the Midwest is ready to step up to the plate and support wind power development and unlock the associated manufacturing and supply chain jobs throughout the region. If adopted with some modifications, the proposed mechanism would spread the costs of new transmission infrastructure, allowing the region to build a robust transmission grid that will bring reliability and economic benefits as well as supporting state, regional and national policy goals," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode.

The proposal also seeks to make permanent the interim allocation recovery approach with respect to network upgrades, under which generator interconnection customers would bear virtually all costs. By putting all costs for such facilities on generators, this proposal would likely create a barrier to wind development in the Midwest. AWEA and WOW encourage FERC to reject this part of the proposal and require that costs for such facilities be shared by all their beneficiaries.