On Monday the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Board of Directors approved $10.3 billion in transmission projects focused on its Midwest Subregion, which includes our service area. These projects are the first group of four in MISO’s Long-Range Transmission Planning (LRTP) process that aims to integrate new generation resources outlined in MISO member and state plans and increase resilience in the face of severe weather events. We’ll work on projects in this first group as well as the second. Subsequent groups will focus on investments within MISO that are outside our service area.
Grid North Partners support MISO’s Long-Range Transmission Plan
Our company is one of ten investor-owned and not-for-profit cooperative and municipal utilities in Grid North Partners (formerly CapX2020). We’re working together to ensure continued safe, reliable, and affordable electric service and collaborating to build high-voltage transmission infrastructure in the Upper Midwest. In a press release, the partners expressed support for MISO’s LRTP approval.
The Grid North Partner utilities welcome the Midcontinent ISO’s (MISO) approval of the first set of projects in its Long Range Transmission Plan to pave the way for new transmission lines to serve customers throughout the Midwest, including several projects in the Grid North Partners’ footprint, which will deliver considerable benefits to Upper Midwest electric customers.
“The Upper Midwest region leads the country in renewable energy, and as our system transitions away from fossil fuel plants, we need new transmission infrastructure to help ensure reliability and resilience, deliver carbon-free energy, and keep bills affordable for our customers,” Grid North Partners said in a joint statement. “We stand ready to develop these new projects.”
The 345-kV transmission projects approved today will provide greater access to renewable energy over a wide geographic area and save costs by locating new transmission lines near or along existing transmission or other infrastructure corridors reducing impacts to landowners by sharing rights-of-way.
All projects will still require approval from state regulatory agencies. Lead utilities will also engage landowners, local governments, and other stakeholders as part of the project-development process.
Grid North Partners key part of regional planning process
Grid North Partner utilities participated in the MISO-led effort that identified and evaluated a comprehensive ‘transmission roadmap’ for the region as the energy system evolves toward more carbon-free energy produced from more variable, weather-dependent renewable resources.
The phase-one plan MISO’s Board of Directors approved today is the result of nearly two years of study, engagement, and outreach with utilities and various stakeholders. Additional phases of future transmission projects throughout the northern MISO region will be considered in coming years. Information about MISO’s LRTP can be found on MISO’s website here.
Upper Midwest project information
Projects in the Grid North Partners footprint include:
The overall portfolio approved today is an estimated investment of approximately $10 billion in new transmission infrastructure, with approximately $3 billion of that in the Grid North Partners footprint.
MISO Long Range Transmission Portfolio and Grid North Partners Footprint
The map above represents the portfolio of projects approved today and does not represent final routes. All projects will still require approval from state regulatory agencies. Lead utilities will engage landowners, local governments, and other stakeholders as part of the project-development process.
Grid North Partners is a broad mix of 10 investor-owned and not-for-profit cooperative and municipal utilities working together to ensure continued safe, reliable, and affordable electric service to customers in the Upper Midwest. The Grid North Partners include Central Municipal Power Agency/Services, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Great River Energy, Minnesota Power, Missouri River Energy Services, Otter Tail Power Company, Rochester Public Utilities, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, WPPI Energy, and Xcel Energy.