Chapter 3.2: Implementation History
The annual MTEP report is the culmination of more than 18 months of collaboration between MISO and its stakeholders. Each report cycle focuses on identifying issues and opportunities, developing alternatives for consideration and evaluating those options to determine effective transmission solutions. With the MTEP15 cycle, the MTEP report now represents 12 years of planning these essential upgrades and expansions to the electric transmission grid.
The number of projects and investment can vary dramatically from year to year depending on a variety of system needs. Project drivers could include changes in generation mix due to economics or environmental emissions control, the need to mitigate system congestion at load delivery points, or the addition of large industrial loads. These projects improve the deliverability of energy both economically and reliably to consumers in the MISO footprint and beyond.
After projects are approved by the MISO Board of Directors, these projects will go through any required approval processes by federal or state regulatory authorities and subsequent construction. The system needs originally driving these projects may change or disappear. When these material system changes transpire, MISO collaborates with transmission owners and stakeholders to withdraw or partially withdraw an approved project such that system reliability is always maintained. More details on withdrawn projects are provided later in this section.
The cumulative investment dollars for projects, categorized by plan status for MTEP03 through the current MTEP15 cycle, is more than $20.56 billion (Figure 3.2-1). MTEP15 data depicted in this figure, subject to Board approval, will be added to the data tracked for the MISO Board of Directors. These statistics only include projects for MISO members who participated in this planning cycle. Previously approved projects for prior MISO members are not included in these statistics.
- Since MTEP03, more than $10.5 billion of cumulative approved projects have been constructed and are in service as of July 2015.
- $3.2 billion of MTEP projects are expected to go into service in 2015
The historical perspective of MTEP project investment for each MTEP cycle shows extensive variability in development (Figure 3.2-2). This is caused by the long development time of transmission plans and the regular, periodic updating of the transmission plans. Approval of the Multi-Value Projects (MVP) portfolio explains the large increase between MTEP10 and MTEP11.
- MTEP06 and MTEP07 were approved in the same calendar year, which accounts for the comparatively small number of projects in MTEP07.
- MTEP08 shows the number of developing needs increased the number of planned projects, including several large upgrades.
- MTEP09 was a year for analyses and determination of the best plans to serve those needs. The in-service category increases as projects are built.
- MTEP10 contains significant adjustments for reduced load forecasts.
- MTEP11 contains the MVP portfolio, which accounts for the significantly higher investment totals compared to other MTEPs. MVP status and investment totals are tracked via the MVP Dashboard.
- MTEP12 and MTEP13 reflect a return to a more typical MTEP, primarily driven by reliability projects.
- MTEP14 reflects a continuation of a typical MTEP, primarily driven by reliability projects, but with the inclusion of the new MISO South region projects. A single transmission delivery service project accounts for around 25 percent of the total MTEP14 investment.
- MTEP15 further reflects a continuation of a typical MTEP, primarily driven by reliability projects. This is the first cycle in which MTEP participants begin planning to meet a series of new, more stringent NERC reliability standards.
Since MTEP03, 345 facilities from 183 projects totaling $1.4 billion have been withdrawn. MISO documents all withdrawn facilities to ensure the planning process addresses required system needs. Withdrawn facilities may be of two types:
- Completely withdrawn
- Withdrawn but replaced with like facilities
The withdrawn facilities may represent:
- Project cancellations
- Scope changes
More than half of the $1.4 billion withdrawn facilities are associated with partially withdrawn projects, e.g., scope changes (Figure 3.2-3). An example of a partially withdrawn project would be a Baseline Reliability Project that was originally scoped as a two 138 kV transmission lines needed to serve a new industrial customer; however, the industrial customer decided to have a smaller scope and now only requires a single 138 kV line to supply the load. One of the 138 kV facilities would be withdrawn while the other continues through the planning and construction phases.
Common reasons for full withdrawal include:
- The customer’s plans changed or the service request was withdrawn
- A material system change resulted in no further need for the project
- An alternative solution is pursued and/or further evaluation shows the project is not needed
There’s a common trend between the type of project and the reason for the withdrawal (Figure 3.2-4).
The majority of withdrawn facilities are Other-type projects that address local reliability issues. Of the Other-type facilities, more than half are withdrawn because a more efficient alternative is pursued. Additionally, many of the Other-type projects are partially withdrawn because further evaluation shows the project is not needed as originally scoped, such as a project that replaces all wooden structures may determine that some structures are still viable.
As of Second Quarter 2015, $261 million worth of Baseline Reliability Project facilities were withdrawn. Nearly all of those projects were withdrawn because of a material change in system load. Half of the $261 withdrawn Baseline Reliability Project total is associated with a single project in Michigan that was withdrawn during the economic downturn.
The $347 million in Generator Interconnection Project withdrawals primarily come from a customer change — often a lack of funding. The retirement of the Kewanee Nuclear Plant resulted in the withdrawal of $133 million in facilities that, before the retirement, were necessary to support an upgrade at a nearby nuclear facility.
The MVPs continue to progress and no full projects have been withdrawn. Commission-required route changes necessitated the withdrawal of $314 million worth of facilities, which were then replaced with like facilities. MISO continues to explore ways to improve its database system to allow the input of scope changes without having to withdraw a facility and then enter the updated information under a new facility.
 Project milestones described in Chapter 3.1
 New Appendix A projects in the MTEP15 column contain a few in-service and under-construction projects. There are a few reasons why this occurs. Generator Interconnection Projects with network upgrades are approved via a separate Tariff process and are brought into the current MTEP cycle after their approval. There are also projects driven by condition that must be addressed promptly to maintain system reliability. There are clearance projects that should be addressed promptly to maintain system reliability. Finally, there are relocation projects driven by others’ schedules.