Chapter 4.2: Generator Interconnection Projects

Chapter 4.2: Generator Interconnection Projects

MISO provides safe, reliable, equal and non-discriminatory access to the electric transmission system for all new generation interconnection requests. MISO’s interconnection process identifies network upgrades for all new generator interconnection requests, as necessary, to ensure that the injection from new generation capacity does not deteriorate the reliability of the existing transmission system. All network upgrades emanating from the interconnection process are included in the final MTEP as Generator Interconnection Projects (GIPs) at the end of every calendar year.

MTEP15 contains five Target Appendix A GIPs totaling approximately $50.8 million (Table 4.2-1). These GIPs are associated with the generation interconnection requests J238, H021, G870, J233 and J290 (Figure 4.2-1 and Table 4.2-2).

MTEP Project ID Project Name Submitting Company Preliminary Share Status Region Estimated Cost ($)
4262/4263/4264 J238 Generator Interconnection IPL TBD Central $0.00
8092 H021 Generator Interconnection ITC M Not Shared West $2,300,000.00
8156 G870 Generator Interconnection ITC M Not Shared West $40,600,000.00
8157 J233 Generator Interconnection ITC M Not Shared West $3,850,000.00
8240 J262/J263 Generator Interconnection OTP TBD West $11,175,000.00
8241/9522 J290 Generator Interconnection OTP/Xcel TBD West $4,000,000.00
9245 J327 Generator Interconnection ITCT Shared East $1,330,000.00
9320 J293 Generator Interconnection ATC TBD West $21,914,554.00
9523 G826 Generator Interconnection Xcel Shared West $0.00
9524 G858/H071 Xcel TBD West $0.00
Total Estimated Cost $85,169,554.00

Table 4.2-1 Generation Interconnection Projects in MTEP15 target Appendix A

GI Project No. TO County State Study Cycle Service Type Point of Interconnection Max Summer Output Fuel Type GIA
G870 ITCM Freeborn MN DPP-2012-AUG NRIS Hayward – Winnebago 161 kV 201 Wind GIA
H021 ITCM Grand IA DPP-2012-AUG NRIS Wellsburg 115 kV Substation 138.6 Wind GIA
J233 ITCM Marshall IA DPP-2013-AUG NRIS ITC Midwest Marshalltown 161 kV (Sutherland) Substation 635 Gas GIA
J238 IPL Morgan IN DPP-2012-AUG NRIS Eagle Valley 138 kV Substation 725 Gas GIA
J290 NSP Rolette ND DPP-2013-AUG NRIS 230 kV Rugby to Glenboro 150 Wind GIA
J262 OTP Stutsman ND DPP-2013-FEB NRIS Jamestown 345/115 kV Substation 100 Wind GIA
J263 OTP Stutsman ND DPP-2013-FEB NRIS Jamestown 345/115 kV Substation 100 Wind GIA
J327 ITCT Huron MI DPP-2014-AUG NRIS Raphson 120 kV Substation 150 Wind GIA
J293 ATC Outagamie WI DPP-2014-FEB NRIS Fox River 345 kV Substation 475 Gas GIA
G826 XCEL Jackson MN DPP-2012-AUG NRIS Lakefield Junction 345 kV 200 Wind GIA
G858 NSP Stearns MN DPP-2013-FEB NRIS Black Oak 69 kV Substation 38 Wind GIA
H071 NSP Stearns MN DPP-2013-FEB NRIS Black Oak 69 kV Substation 40 Wind GIA

Table 4.2-2: Generation Interconnection requests associated with Target Appendix A

Figure 4.2-1: Generation Interconnection requests associated with MTEP15 Target Appendix A

MTEP15 Target Appendix A

Generation Interconnection Projects – Detail

MTEP Project 4262/4263/4264 – Indianapolis Power and Light

  • The Pritchard – Centerton – Honey Creek – Southport 138 kV line rating upgrade
  • 138 kV/242 MVA line to 138 kV/302 MVA line enables the generation interconnection of generation request J238
  • J238 – 725 MW combined cycle gas generator
  • Point of interconnection: Eagle Valley 138 kV substation
  • The generation interconnection project is contingent upon the following injection upgrades:
    • Construct a new 138 kV line from Pritchard to Franklin Township
    • Re-conductor the 138 kV line from Pritchard to Centerton to Honey Creek to Southport
    • Re-conductor the 138 kV line from Pritchard to Heartland Crossing to Morrisville
  • Anticipated completion date: December 31, 2016
  • Anticipated cost: TBD

MTEP Project 8092 – International Transmission Co. Midwest

  • Replace the Wellsburg 161/69 kV transformer with a 150 MVA transformer as a condition of the interconnection service for project H021
  • H021 -138.6 MW wind-powered generating facility located in Grundy County, Iowa
  • 84 Vestas V82 1.65 MW wind turbines
  • Point of interconnection: Wellsburg 115 kV substation
  • Anticipated completion date: February 12, 2015
  • Completed: February 12, 2015
  • Actual cost: $2.3 million

MTEP Project 8156 – International Transmission Co. Midwest

  • Reconstruct the Winnebago to Freeborn 161 kV line with T2-795 ACSR conductor with a summer rating of 446 MVA as a condition of Interconnection Service for project G870
  • G870-201 MW wind-powered generating facility located in Freeborn County, Minn.
  • 122 Vestas V82 1.65 MW wind turbines.
  • Point of interconnection: Hayward – Winnebago 161 kV line
  • Anticipated completion date: December 31, 2015
  • Anticipated cost: $40.6 million

MTEP Project 8157 – International Transmission Co. Midwest

  • Three new terminals are needed at the Marshalltown substation to accommodate interconnection to the generating facilities via three generator step-up transformers as a condition of interconnection service for J233
  • J233 – 138.6 MW wind-powered generating facility located in Grundy County, Iowa
  • 84 Vestas V82 1.65 MW wind turbines
  • Transmission Owner Interconnection Facilities
  • Point of interconnection: Wellsburg 115 kV substation
  • Anticipated completion date: December 31, 2015
  • Anticipated cost: $3.85 million

MTEP Project 8240 – Ottertail Power Co.

  • Replace existing 345/115/41.6 kV #1 and #2 transformers at Jamestown Substation with 336 MVA transformers, add 2×25 MVAR cap bank at Jamestown 115 kV bus and 1×60 MVAR cap bank at Jamestown 345 kV bus as a condition of the interconnection service for project J262 and J263.
  • J262/J263 – 200 MW wind-powered generating facility located in Stutsman County, N.D.
  • 100 Vestas V100 2.0 MW wind turbines
  • Point of interconnection: Jamestown 345/115 kV Substation
  • Anticipated completion date: November 30, 2015
  • Anticipated cost: $11.175 million

MTEP Project 8241/9522 – Ottertail Power Co./Excel Energy

  • Install a switchyard (Border Wind Substation) with the appropriate protection equipment coordinated per Appendix C to the GIA. The Border Wind Substation shall contain one generator step-up transformer rated 175 MVA, one circuit breaker connected to the Transmission Owner’s new 230 kV Peace Garden Substation as a condition of the interconnection service for project J290
  • J290 -150 MW wind-powered generating facility located in Rolette County, N.D.
  • 75 Vestas V100 2.0 MW wind turbines
  • Point of interconnection: Peace Garden 230 kV Substation
  • Anticipated completion date: January 31, 2016
  • Anticipated cost: $4 million

MTEP Project 9245 – International Transmission Co.

  • Add 2-120 kV breakers with associated disconnects at Rapson 120 kV substation to accommodate the interconnection of a 150 MW wind farm
  • J327 – 150 MW wind-powered generating facility located in Huron County, Mich.
  • 75 Vestas 2.0 MW wind turbines
  • Point of interconnection: Raphson 120 kV Substation:
  • Anticipated completion date: July 15, 2016
  • Anticipated cost: $1.33 million

MTEP Project 9321 – American Transmission Co.

  • Re-configuration of the Fox River 345 kV switchyard and upgrades on the Point Beach to Kewaunee and Fox River Switch yard to North Appleton Substation 345 kV lines as a condition of the interconnection service for project J293
  • J293 – 475 MW Natural Gas combined cycle generating facility located in Outagamie County, Wis.
  • Combined cycle generator – one combustion turbine generator and one steam turbine generator
  • Point of interconnection: Fox River 345 kV Substation
  • Anticipated completion date: March 15, 2018
  • Anticipated cost: $21.9 million

MTEP Project 9523 – Xcel Energy

  • The 345 kV Crandal Substation installation as a condition of the interconnection service for project G826
  • G826 – 200 MW wind-powered generating facility located in Jackson County, Minn.
  • 100 Vestas V110 2.0 MW wind turbines
  • Point of interconnection: Xcel Lakefield Generation SW – Lakefield Junction 345 kV Line
  • Anticipated completion date: December 1, 2015
  • Anticipated cost: TBD

MTEP Project 9524 – Xcel Energy

  • The Black Oak – East Melrose – Millwood 69 kV rebuild as a condition of the interconnection service for project G858/H071
  • G858/H071 – 38 MW wind-powered generating facility located in Stearns County, Minn.
  • 18 2.1 MW wind turbines
  • Point of interconnection: XEL Black Oak 69 kv Substation
  • Anticipated completion date: March 1, 2016
  • Anticipated cost: TBD

The Queue Process

Requests to connect new generation to the system are studied and approved under the generation interconnection queue process. Each generator must fund the necessary studies to ensure new interconnections will not cause system reliability issues. Each project must meet technical and non-technical milestones in order to move to the next phase (Figure 4.2-2).

Since the beginning of the queue process in 1995, MISO and its Transmission Owners have received approximately 1,481 generator interconnection requests totaling 302 GW (Figures 4.2-3 and 4.2-4). Among them, 32 GW are now connected to the transmission system. These generation additions enhance reliability, ensure resource adequacy, provide a competitive market to deliver benefit to ratepayers, and help the industry meet renewable portfolio standards.

Figure 4.2-3: Queue trends

Figure 4.2-3: Queue trends

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) have become more common since the late 1990s. By 2007, 21 states and the District of Columbia had mandatory RPS obligations. In addition, many other states adopted voluntary renewable energy standards. Between 2005 and 2011, MISO experienced exponential growth in wind project requests. In 2007, wind generation requests in the MISO queue peaked at approximately 39 GW. These requests reflect the dramatic increase in registered wind capacity in the MISO footprint (Figure 4.2-5).

Figure 4.2-4: Queue trends

Figure 4.2-4: Queue trends

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) have become more common since the late 1990s. Although there is no RPS program in place at the national level, 30 states and the District of Columbia had enforceable RPS or other mandated renewable capacity policies as of January 2012.  In addition, eight states adopted voluntary renewable energy standards. Between 2005 and 2011, MISO experienced exponential growth in wind project requests. In 2007, wind generation requests in the MISO queue peaked at approximately 39 GW. These requests reflect the dramatic increase in registered wind capacity in the MISO footprint (Figure 4.2-5).

Figure 4.2-5: Nameplate Wind Capacity Registered for MISO

Figure 4.2-5: Nameplate Wind Capacity Registered for MISO

As a result of Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) and its compliance requirements, MISO’s generator interconnection queue has seen an increase in natural gas interconnection requests (Table 4.2-3). Data corresponding to year 2015 only includes natural gas requests for the first two quarters.

Year Gas Requests (MW) % Of All New Requests
2015 4,659* 40%
2014 9,424 58%
2013 3,835 30%
2012 4,509 63%

*Natural Gas MW requested as of August 2015

Table 4.2-3: Recent years natural gas requests

Furthermore, there are about 425 MW of new solar generation interconnection requests in 2015. This could be the result of recent federal energy legislation and the economic stimulus package, and lower prices of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules.

Queue Process Improvement

Over the past 10 years, the MISO Interconnection Process has evolved from first-in, first-out methodology to first-ready, first-served methodology to expedite the generation project queue lifecycle and maintain system reliability.

With significant changes implemented on the latest 2012 Queue Reform, which largely addressed backlogs in the generator interconnection queue and late-stage terminations of generator interconnection agreements, the MISO queue still undergoes delays in completing studies (System Impact and Facility Studies).

MISO continues to seek more opportunities to improve the queue process, while following basic guiding principles: reliable interconnection; timely processing; certainty in process; and Targeted Risk Allocation. The current drivers for this effort include re-studies caused by project withdrawals, evolving industry standards, more variable generation in the queue and changing technology.

The goal of this effort is to review the current process and study criteria, and identify areas for further improvement. Some other process improvement focus areas that MISO has been working on are:

  • Compliance with New TPL001-4 standards
  • Consistency in the planning model
  • Attachment Y process coordination
  • Interconnection study time-line improvement
  • Seams coordination
  • Continuing to streamline queue process with MISO energy market and capacity construct
  • Exploring economic analysis-related options