MISO’s Hidden Figures: Regional Transmission Overlay Study

The recent book and movie “Hidden Figures” chronicled the amazing work of three women who worked as “human computers” on the mathematical planning needs of NASA’s first manned space mission to the moon. Lots of data had to be analyzed and incorporated to make sure our astronauts could get there and back home safely.

MISO also has many human, as well as electronic, computers. On a daily basis, we analyze and incorporate lots of data and information to make sure our stakeholders’ electric transmission grid needs are met reliably and efficiently.

MISO has recently engaged in a multi-year planning effort known as the Regional Transmission Overlay Study (RTOS). Its purpose is to take a broad regional view of long-term system needs and identify the most robust transmission expansion plan. It considers the uncertainty in the industry with respect to future energy policy, regulations, fuel prices, emerging technology and other factors that will impact the future of electricity production.

The RTOS process uses a scenario-based approach to “book-end” uncertainty around current and potential policy and economic outcomes , which could affect the MISO footprint generation needs over the next 15-plus years.

Three key components make up the process:

  1. Future Development
  2. To account for out-year public policy and economic uncertainties, MISO collaborates with stakeholders to develop a broad set of future scenarios, providing plausible, long-term views of the future resource mix, given different policy and economic drivers. MTEP17 Futures, developed with stakeholders in calendar year 2016, are used in the study.
  3. Long-term Transmission Strategy development
  4. Following the future scenario development, long-term conceptual transmission overlays will be developed and evaluated under the broad set of defined future scenarios. The indicative overlays serve as long-term transmission roadmaps and help guide and formulate candidate regional transmission solutions.
  5. Regional Transmission Plan Development encompasses a collection of economic and reliability analyses to develop and refine robust regional transmission plan and business case development.

RTOS March 2017 imageThe study provides multiple review opportunities through an open and coordinated stakeholder process. MISO has engaged stakeholders to provide feedback on their thoughts, ideas, concerns and recommendations on the materials presented during the Jan. 31, 2017, and March 17, 2017, Economic Planning Users Group RTOS indicative overlay design workshops. The objective is to make sure MISO is aware of and can incorporate the feedback of our stakeholders who will ultimately benefit through the RTOS process.

Questions, comments or feedback about the MISO RTOS program can be directed to: rtos@misoenergy.org.

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