The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) held its Ninth Annual Transmission Summit in St. Louis, Missouri on November 5-6, 2019. The Organization of MISO States (OMS) co-hosted the 2019 summit. To build upon the region’s successes and the MGA’s past efforts on transmission, this meeting sought to unite a select group of state policymakers, utility regulators, industry representatives, NGOs, and academic experts from around the country to participate in substantive, challenging and thought-provoking conversations on the age-old question of how to determine cost causation and beneficiaries of new transmission.
Concepts Covered include:
- Why is this so hard?
- Current examples of transmission cost causation and beneficiary analysis at the Federal and RTO levels and well as examples from around the world?
- Cost causation and beneficiary analytical constructs from leading academic, economists and thought leaders.
- Views from stakeholders: regulators & policymakers, generators & customers
- Creative ideas and options for the future.
In the highly dynamic and technologically evolving electric industry, two key subjects continue to be transmission planning and development as well as the applicable cost allocation and rate recovery design. Determining who (or what) is causing the need for new transmission and who benefits from that new transmission is ripe for examination for lessons learned and for help understanding new ideas. In some cases, the answer is crystal clear, like fixing a local reliability concern. But, in many cases like for larger, longer, or economically-driven transmission lines, the cost causation and beneficiary identification can be less clear cut despite computer modeling advances that have significantly expanded the realm of such identification. There is even less clarity as legacy central-station generation systems transition to newer, geographically-diverse generation sources, Load Serving Entities strive to meet changing customer needs and desires, and large RTO-created markets enable inter-regional transfers. This event focused on the current state and the art and practice of determining who or what are cost causers, who are the beneficiaries, what are the different past and current approaches to answering these questions, and what are some possible new approaches.