Regional and economic planning update

American Transmission Co. (ATC) is an active participant in a variety of regional and inter‑regional planning initiatives designed to maintain a reliable grid and capture economic benefits in a dynamic energy marketplace. Policy initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions and expand the use of renewable energy continue to evolve, and we work closely with our customers to plan for an electric transmission system that will serve their needs well into the future. 

MISO Transmission Expansion Planning

MISO planning studies address long‑ and near‑term issues as well as targeted needs. Long‑term studies primarily look at value‑based options that provide economic benefits in the 10‑ to 20‑year horizon. Near‑term planning is primarily driven by reliability needs of regional transmission owners and compliance requirements of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) within a 5‑ to 10‑year period. 

ATC system planning staff participates in the MISO near‑term reliability and economic studies in a variety of ways: ensuring accurate project information is included in the MISO database, building and reviewing models, correlating needs identified by MISO analyses with specific ATC projects and participating in various studies and stakeholder forums. 

Market constraints

Two of the five Narrow Constrained Areas (NCAs) identified in the MISO region are associated with ATC, and we continue to track these as well as other constraints. Such tracking assists in planning projects that alleviate congestion within the MISO market.

Other MISO planning activities

Our planning staff participates in various technical and policy discussions and provides future direction for MISO Transmission Expansion Plan (MTEP) activities. We also are involved in joint planning studies with neighboring regional transmission organizations, including PJM Interconnection (PJM) and Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

MISO and PJM coordinate and conduct joint market efficiency project studies. These analyses are reviewed by an inter‑regional planning stakeholder advisory committee, which typically examines economic projects that could benefit both Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and qualify for cross‑border cost‑sharing.

Long Range Transmission Plan 

Over the past year, ATC staff have actively engaged with the MISO Long Range Transmission Plan (LRTP) process. The focus of LRTP is to improve the ability to reliably move renewable energy across the MISO region at the lowest possible cost. This effort is part of MISO’s Reliability Imperative which is defined as the shared responsibility utilities, states, and MISO have to address ongoing resource fleet changes, extreme weather events, and other challenges facing the region. 

In July of 2022, MISO’s Board of Directors unanimously approved $10.3 billion in new transmission projects as part of the LRTP effort. These projects will help form a strong regional transmission backbone that will improve system reliability, efficiency, and operational flexibility. 

Several LRTP projects will connect to ATC’s existing service territory, and our staff continues to work with MISO and neighboring utilities to develop these projects. 

More information about ATC’s role in the MISO Long Range Transmission Plan can be found at this link.