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Profiting from Transmission Investment

A holistic, new approach to cost/benefit analysis.
Fortnightly Magazine - October 2004

RTO, and regulatory assessments of proposed transmission facility development.


  1. This analysis primarily used ICF Consulting's proprietary resource planning model, the Integrated Planning Model (IPM®). This is the only model we know of that can optimize the mix of supply options by making "entry and exit" decisions while integrating other key market dynamics. Such a framework requires hundreds of inputs, which the authors can summarize for interested parties.
  2. For example, we use tools such as PowerWorld to assess grid reliability, and IPM® to assess resource planning needs.
  3. Not included in this analysis is the amount of investment required to maintain reliability for the incremental economic transmission investment.
  4. The concept is not new. VoLL was utilized in the 1980s and early 1990s to help utilities determine the optimum level of generation reserves they should hold. Our assessment is to our knowledge the first time this concept has been applied to transmission planning.
  5. , 1999-2003, Appendix B, Table B1, "Major Disturbances and Unusual Occurrences," which records any equipment failure, system operational action, or event that disconnects customer load of greater than 100 MW or that initiates voltage reductions by more than 3 percent. Where data was unavailable, ICF Consulting used the average number of megawatts affected and the average number of hours per outage in that year to fill in for missing data.
  6. There are differences within a sector (, differences between a shopping mall and a school, while homeowners are more homogeneous), but we did not go into this level of detail.

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