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Wooing the Western Wind

How a move to bring power markets to the Great Plains has uncovered a crisis in grid planning.

Fortnightly Magazine - February 2009

the Western Markets Proposal, would need to pay about $1.92 million a year to obtain the same tariff administration, transmission planning, and related services previously obtained from MISO as an RTO member (Prepared Supplemental direct Testimony of Michael P. Holstein, FERC Dkt. ER08-637, filed Aug. 12, 2008) .

Yet attorney Bogorad claims that data from MidAmerican Energy’s 2007 FERC Form 1 shows that the utility paid less than $808,000 for the same sorts of services, provided by TransServ, the affiliate formed as an Independent Coordinator of Transmission to run Mid-America’s grid system in roughly the same manner as would an RTO (Comments of Midwest TDUs on Compliance Filings, pp. 17-20 FERC Dkt. ER08-637, filed Sep. 5, 2008) .

As IPL puts it, “the Commission’s aim should not be to figure out how to coerce existing members to remain a part of an RTO, but rather how do we make the RTO value proposition a positive for existing members.”