MISO lets the United States’ renewable energy reaped out of the bottle

The forces of partisan politics are working overtime to mobilize renewable energy development in the US, but here comes the MISO to upset the apple cart. MISO is the system operator for the electricity grid in 15 central states. It has just announced the largest portfolio of transmission line projects ever proposed in the United States, starting with an investment of $10.3 billion in 18 new projects for the northern part of its territory.

More renewable energy for the United States

MISO (pronounced em-EYE-soh) means Mid-Continent Independent System Operatoran agency that oversees the area of ​​the network that practically divides the United States down the middle and up into Canada.

MISO covers every part of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and the province of Manitoba in Canada.

The states participating in the 18 new transmission line projects plan are Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota. Many countries in that region were already The pursuit of wind energy Fist delivery and some recent activities in Solar field Indicates that the solar profile of the region is also in motion.

MISO sailed across CleanTechnica Radar during the Obama administration, as its network began to load some of The first large-scale wind farm in the United States.

We noted that “As early as 2012, MISO was reporting peak wind power production, a record high of 10,012 megawatts.”

This was only for beginners. “Driven by the nation’s desire for cleaner energy and the state’s mandate for renewable energy portfolios, MISO now runs More than 11,000 megawatts of wind generation In service, with more than 7,000 megawatts of projects progressing through interconnection requirements,” MISO reported in 2016.

Only four years later, MISO reported 22And the040 MW From inServices installed Wind amplitude, there is a lot of where that came from.

break the bottleneck

This is the good news. The other news is that there’s only so much transmission capacity to go around, and MISO is fully aware that eager renewable energy developers on their lands are lining up around the block to connect their clean kilowatts to transmission lines. This is queuing, as in waiting in line to connect. and wait.

The problem, as in other regions of the United States, is that renewable energy resources are deep, but long-distance transmission capacity is shallow.

This is about to finish. Our friends in Clean Network Alliance It was estimated that the 18 new MISO projects alone would unlock 53 gigawatts of new wind, solar, hybrid and battery energy storage projects.

“[That’s] eEnough of the power Around 12 million homes and 213000 jobs, “CGA Enthusiasm.”Around 120000 Careers Can also estimated result of Send actionso we Can anticipation Around 333total number of jobs 000 From move and . work Renewable resource Construction together. “

More transmission lines, less fossil energy for the United States

Speaking of job creation and domestic energy supply, the new MISO proposal lays a lie on Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, which its supporters describe as a machine-creating job. This project was also planned in the central section of the United States, although practically none of the benefits would be realized there.

The pipeline stalled during the Obama administration and came back to life briefly during the Trump administration, before finally filling the dust last year, when President Joe Biden rescinded a keynote as part of a wide-ranging series of executive actions aimed at Undo some environmental damage of the past four years.

Another major fossil energy project in the region, The Dakota Access Pipeline, faces desperate opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, among others. When we last heard about the project, the project is on hiatus while the US Army Corps of Engineers is doing more than environmental audit.

The new set of MISO transmission line proposals also presents a sharp contrast to another pipeline proposal in the region, the Pipeline Proposal. Carbon from different ethanol plants Turn the Midwest into storage locations in North Dakota. The opponents are already organizing against the plan, and they are said to have taken some cues from the Standing Rock Tribe

More transmission lines for more renewable energy

where were we? oh right, 18 New Transmission Line Projects It is actually only the first slide in a meticulously planned series of network improvements outlined in MISO’s Long-Range Transportation Planning Process, which is an illustration of the “shared responsibility that states, utilities, members, and MISO have to face the complex challenges driven by generation-changing fleet change and extreme weather events that It increasingly threatens electrical reliability in the region.”

“These important projects are needed to begin integrating the new generation resources outlined in the plans of MISO members and countries and to increase resilience in the face of extreme weather events,” explains MISO.

As for the Tranche 1 price of $10.3 billion, MISO estimates the benefit-cost ratio to be at least 2.2. “Measures of benefits include congestion and fuel savings, avoidance of capital costs to invest in local resources, avoidance of transmission investment, provision of resource adequacy, avoidance of load disposal risks and decarbonization,” states MISO.

For those of you who are keeping score at home, Tranche 2 will also cover the Midwest subregion, Tranche 3 will focus on the MISO South, and Tranche 4 “address the limitations of energy exchange between the MISO Midwest and the South Subregion.”

The new climate law made things a lot easier

The Democrats in the US Senate announced yesterday as if they were referring to that Agreement on the new climate law With the lone naysayer on their side of the aisle, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. The bill still has a long way to go before it reaches President Biden’s desk, and of course Senator Manchin could change his mind again, but the bill is finally in the works, at least for now.

With all 50 Democrats lined up in favor and Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote, the climate bill has at least a better chance of survival than it did last week, when Manchin said he would not support it.

What has changed? Who do you know? The end result is a big win for MISO and other transportation planners.

Among the renewable energy topics mentioned in the official one-page summary of the bill are:

Additionally, the agreement calls for comprehensive permit reform legislation to be passed before the end of the fiscal year. Allowing reform is essential to unleashing domestic energy and transportation projects, which will lower costs for consumers and help us achieve our long-term emissions goals.”

interesting! That may leave plenty of wiggle room for all kinds of different energy projects, but the focus on cost-cutting and emissions targets puts a huge thumbs-up on schedules for new renewable energy transmission lines.

Follow me on Twitter Tweet embed.

image credit: A map of the proposed new transmission line projects Courtesy of MISO.


Do we appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and clean tech news coverage? Think of becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador – or patron on Patreon.


Do you have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest on our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.