Missouri PSC Approves Grain Belt Express HVDC Transmission Project

LCG, March 22, 2019--The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a request filed by Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct, own, operate, control, manage and maintain a high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) transmission line to move power east from wind farms in western Kansas to load centers in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

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FPL Targets 1,490 MW of Solar Capacity for New Community Solar Program

LCG, March 15, 2019--Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) Wednesday filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for a new community solar program, FPL SolarTogether. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490-MW of capacity at 20 new solar power plants across FPL's service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program.

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Industry News

Midwest ISO Tariffs Draw Complaints

LCG, Feb. 13, 2002--The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), now two weeks into its operation as a FERC-approved Regional Transmission Organization, is drawing criticism from traders and marketers over its tariff design.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will consider the complaints at its next routine meeting tomorrow, has promoted RTO's in order to bring about an open and efficient marketplace in which electricity can be bought and sold efficiently over the transmission grid. Some market participants see the rules now in place in the MISO as unnecessarily increasing costs and holding the potential for discriminatory access. As vice president of Cargill-Alliant, Bret Jones, told Reuters, "the concept of an entity managing the grid in order to optimize revenues... is beneficial for everyone, providing for a lower cost delivery system and better use of that system. I don't believe that the MISO structure has reached that point."

As a joint venture of Cargill Inc. and Alliant Energy Corp., Cargill-Alliant made a filing with the FERC on Dec. 10. In October, another filing was made by the American Transmission Co. concerning allegations of discriminatory treatment and flawed rate design.

Cargill-Alliant's dissatisfaction comes partly from the different transmission charges assessed to different transmission users. Charges represent either a network rate or a point-to-point rate. Marketers are charged point-to-point rates, which are often more expensive than the network rates. Utilities buying power for customers pay the network rate. According to Duke Energy North America, Dynegy Power Marketing Inc., subsidiaries of Mirant Corp. and Tenaska Power Services Co., the ability of utilities to reserve transmission capacity equivalent to expected peak loads at no additional charge may lead to inefficient use of the grid.

Midwest ISO chief financial officer Michael Holstein confirms that "there are certain circumstances where a trading pattern that existed before is not as profitable as it is today." He pointed to simplified billing for customers, and the replacement of multiple charges by different utilities with a single tariff as improvements. Holstein said the changes mean that "the net gain offsets whatever dislocation there is for certain limited transactions."
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