How NIPSCO feels leaned on.
Bruce W. Radford is publisher of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Contact him at email@example.com.
Northern Indiana Public Service, the MISO member sandwiched between PJM’s Ohio territory and its noncontiguous Chicago outpost, feels particularly aggrieved by the failure of the MISO-PJM Joint Operating Agreement, approved by FERC in 2004, to facilitate cross-border grid projects to relieve constraints along the ragged and interlaced seam that separates the two regions.
In a complaint filed at FERC just last month, NIPSCO asked for relief from the omnipresent PJM power transfers across the gap between Ohio (in MISO) and Chicago (in PJM). These power flows lean on NIPSCO transmission lines, sometimes even forcing some of those lines to be opened, raising concerns over N-2 contingencies.
“That nothing has been built,” says NIPSCO, “is not due to lack of need.” (Complaint of No. Ind. Pub. Serv., FERC Dkt. EL13-88, filed Sept. 11, 2013.)
The need – for more transfer capability linking Ohio and Chicago – stems from PJM. But meeting that need means building lines within MISO. It’s the classic case of a cross-border problem that FERC had in mind when it added the interregional provisions to Order 1000.
The MISO-PJM JOA was supposed to solve such constraints, yet the odds appear stacked against any progress.