There are multiple opportunities for transmission buildout at MISO but limited prospects for independent transmission companies. Opportunities in favor of transmission include policy planning projects to interconnect renewable projects, the need for reliability in the MISO South region, and additional proactive planning approaches to address the capacity needs of local resource zones at MISO.
However, when we dig into the details and assess the opportunities to build transmission, we find limited openings from an independent transmission company perspective. State Right of First Refusal (ROFR) laws in the North and seams issues in the South are reasons for limited opportunities. If MISO and MISO states are serious about building the next wave of transmission, lowering the voltage threshold for bidding out competitive projects and removing ROFR laws must be implemented.
Limited success so far with MISO’s Competitive Transmission Administration
MISO put out a competitive transmission project for bid for the first time in 2016. The new Duff-Coleman 345-kV line connects Southern Indiana to Western Kentucky. Republic Transmission, a wholly-owned subsidiary of LS Power, won that bid. The second project MISO put out for competitive bid in 2018 was the Hartbug-Sabine 500-kV line that connects East Texas to the rest of the MISO via Entergy Texas substation. NextEra Energy Transmission Midwest, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra, won this bid. The MISO Board approved the third project in 2016 called Huntley-Wilmarth 345 kV, which addresses transmission congestion in the south Minnesota-north Iowa area, called a Market Efficiency Project. These are the only three projects to date that MISO has solicited competitive bids for the 40 plus qualified transmission developers.
MISO North has renewable opportunity but Right of First Refusal (ROFR) laws
MISO North region comprises Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The wind-rich Buffalo Ridge area in the southwest corner of Minnesota and most MISO state Renewable