Boosting Regional Transmission Upgrades for Michigan’s Energy Future

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) , the regional organization in charge of managing a large portion of the Midwest’s electric power grid, has approved a number of significant upgrades to the region’s transmission infrastructure that will benefit the area financially by billions of dollars and make it easier for utilities and states to pursue clean energy transitions.

See here for my colleague Sam Gomberg’s great piece describing the history and specifics of the MISO’s long range transmission planning process’s Tranche 1 in more depth. overloaded wires will be addressed, electrical reliability will increase, and more affordable wind and solar power will be made available to replace expensive, polluting fossil fuel plants in Michigan and many other Midwestern states (including Illinois and Minnesota ).

HOW DOES IT AFFECT MICHIGAN? Several of the Tranche 1 projects, such as the ample wind energy from Iowa and northern Missouri into Illinois, northern Indiana, and Michigan, will aid in enhancing power flows from the west to the east. Additionally, the projects will enable Michigan to distribute more electricity to other regions as needed and as it becomes available. This is crucial since the states in the area are connected by our electric grid, which makes it easier to exchange power in the event of brief blackouts and allows for the delivery of less expensive resources to customers.

The costs and advantages of the project portfolio were examined by MISO as part of the creation of the Tranche 1 proposals. Overall, according to MISO, the 18 projects will cost close to $10.5 billion in new transmission system investments, which will be distributed across the 17 zones depicted on the map below.

However, the advantages significantly According to MISO’s estimates, Tranche 1 will benefit ratepayers in the area by increasing reliability, addressing transmission line congestion, enabling more affordable wind and solar power to reach consumers, and reducing heat-trapping carbon emissions by using less expensive coal and gas plants. In total, these improvements will net ratepayers in the area between $37 and $96 billion in benefits.

The benefit-cost ratio for Zone 2 (the Upper Peninsula and parts of Wisconsin) and Zone 7 (Michigan’s Lower Peninsula) is as follows:

Furthermore, according to the renewable energy advocacy group Clean Grid Alliance estimates , MISO’s Tranche 1 plans will allow for the development of more than 8,300 megawatts of new solar and wind capacity in Michigan’s Zone 7, which will be sufficient to power more than 1.7 million homes and generate more than 34,000 jobs. According to calculations made by Clean Grid Alliance for Zone 2, 3,600 megawatts of renewable development could supply energy to 775,000 houses and support 14,000 jobs.

MICHIGANS CLEAN ENERGY AND CLIMATE GOALS ARE SUPPORTED BY TRANSMISSION UPGRADES The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 0 plan for Michigan specifies that utilities must phase out all coal-fired power plants by 2030 and that 60 percent of the state’s electricity requirements must come from renewable sources. The utility’s remaining coal plants will be shut down under Consumers Energy’s recently authorized Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 1 by 2025 as part of the company’s objective to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040. DTE is creating its own updated resource plan, which is due in October, with the goal of reducing its carbon pollution by Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 2. In the coming years, both utilities intend to significantly enhance their solar energy production to complement Michigan’s current wind installations.

Transmission improvements, like those in MISO’s Tranche 1, are crucial as Michigan transitions to a clean energy future because they not only help with the transition but also maintain the stability and dependability of our power grid while Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 3.

THEN WHAT? The Tranche 1 projects from MISO will next move on to state processes for additional assessment, siting, and permits review. Even though 90% of the projects in Tranche 1 may be situated next to or close to existing transmission lines, it is crucial that Michigan and other states have an open and transparent process to gather input from the people that the projects may affect.

The Tranche 1 projects demonstrate the advantages of investing in our electric system for Michigan and ratepayers around the Midwest. Although the long-term transmission planning process has only just began for MISO, the grid operator must move more swiftly through the next stages in order to construct the cutting-edge transmission infrastructure that is necessary for utilities and states to meet their clean energy targets. Let’s applaud the wise decisions made today and continue to strive toward a future with cleaner, safer, and more affordable electricity.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 4 first released the material.

By Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 5, Senior Midwest Energy Analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Climate and Energy program.

Do you value the unique reporting and cleantech news coverage on CleanTechnica? Consider becoming a patron on Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 6 or a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador. Don’t miss a cleantech story, will ya? Register for Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 7 by email. Or Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) 8 Want to advertise with CleanTechnica, send us a tip, or propose a speaker for our podcast CleanTech Talk? You can reach us here.

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