The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO) announced that the Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) has signed an agreement with GridAmerica that, if approved by federal regulatory authorities, would provide for an independent transmission company operating under an RTO.
Filed on Friday, November 1, 2002, with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the executed agreement, which was authorized by the MISO Board of Directors, and its associated documents outline the relationship between GridAmerica, its independent managing member, National Grid, and the Midwest ISO. GridAmerica could be operational in April 2003 if the filing is approved by FERC before the end of the year.
"The inclusion of GridAmerica in the Midwest ISO brings significant benefits to the industry and wholesale energy customers in the Midwest," said James P. Torgerson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwest ISO. "Multiple zonal transmission charges will be eliminated with the linkage of GridAmerica's system to MISO's east and west operations, allowing significant load to benefit from multiple generation sources within the Eastern Interconnection. In addition, these agreements set the stage for Midwest energy customers to benefit from transmission service innovations without increasing costs to Midwest ISO's current customers," he added.
The GridAmerica transmission system will add 28,000 megawatts of generation capacity, 27,000 megawatts of load, and 14,000 miles of transmission lines across 46,000 square miles of service territory in five states to Midwest ISO's operations.
Under the terms of the agreements, GridAmerica will perform - under Midwest oversight - a number of functions normally performed by the RTO regarding the operation, planning, and provision of transmission service for transactions that both source and sink within the GridAmerica footprint. In addition, GridAmerica will perform contracted services in support of MISO responsibilities and provide consulting services to assist in identifying opportunities for technical innovations within the entire Midwest ISO.
With input from MISO, GridAmerica will also establish revenue requirements, rate design and incentive rates within the transco and file separate rate schedules under the single RTO tariff. GridAmerica will also coordinate maintenance outages of generators and non-critical transmission facilities within its area.
The MISO, as the Regional Transmission Organization, will oversee GridAmerica's processes and procedures, administer a single regional tariff, maintain MISO's Open Access Same-time Information System website, provide region-wide market monitoring services, manage parallel path flows for the region, maintain operational authority, monitor all critical facilities in the Midwest ISO footprint, ensure reliability and network security for the entire region, and develop and implement market-based congestion management measures.
The GridAmerica companies - Ameren Corp.; FirstEnergy Corp., on behalf of its subsidiary, American Transmission Systems Incorporated (ATSI); and Northern Indiana Public Service Co., a subsidiary of NiSource - executed a letter of intent in June to join Midwest ISO as an independent transmission company, GridAmerica LLC, managed by National Grid USA. GridAmerica would be a regulated, for-profit transmission company. Federal approval of the GridAmerica agreement would bring to five the number of transmission-only companies operating or seeking to operate within the Midwest ISO. The others are American Transmission Co. LLC; Detroit Edison's International Transmission Company; TransElect's wholly-owned subsidiary Michigan Electric Transmission Company; and TRANSLink, a group of six investor-owned and public power utilities that includes MISO members Alliant Energy Corp. and Xcel Energy (for Northern States Power Co. Minnesota and Northern States Power Co. Wisconsin).
A copy of the GridAmerica filing is available at www.midwestiso.org