By Amanda Durish Cook
MISO plans to revamp its annual Transmission Expansion Plan (MTEP) report to emphasize the justifications and analyses behind the list of proposed projects while removing some planning process narratives.
Director of Strategy Jesse Moser said Wednesday that the streamlined MTEP report will focus more sharply on the business cases for transmission projects.
“We think some of these changes will make the report more user-friendly with a few resource efficiencies along the way,” Moser said during a March 13 Planning Advisory Committee meeting.
MISO’s last five MTEP reports have typically stretched to about 200 pages.
“Over time — I think the first MTEP report was MTEP 03 — it’s grown and grown to include everything related to our transmission planning process,” Moser said. He said the report currently includes “a lot of repetitive, boilerplate” descriptions of the planning process that could be relocated to MISO’s website. He added that some compliance-necessary language must remain.
Moser said last year’s report included a late addition of load shape forecast changes, which “wasn’t necessarily tied to transmission projects being approved in that cycle” and ultimately delayed the PAC’s vote to recommend the report.
Instead of detailing the planning process, MISO could create a more exhaustive executive report that explains industry trends and summarizes important stakeholder decisions in the year, he said.
MISO is also proposing to scrap the report’s first draft review before the PAC that historically takes place in early August. The committee would get its first look in September under the proposed changes.
“What we’ve found historically is that it’s pretty early in the process and we’re still wrapping up the report. Sections of the report vary in terms of completeness. We’ll have a more complete product for review,” Moser said.
Moser said one less review would also cut down on stakeholders’ workload.
Consultant Roberto Paliza asked if stakeholders found the current report “tedious or impenetrable,” or if MISO staff are introducing the change independently.
“This is our initiative. We’ve had this in mind for several cycles now,” Moser replied.
But some stakeholders said the existing format provides a good historical — and preserved — record of reasons behind transmission project decisions.
“The problem of including website links is they’re volatile,” Paliza said. He pointed to MISO’s 2017 website redesign where, in some cases, web pages and previously accessible information were lost. “I think it provides a very important memory of what went on in the system of MISO.”
Other stakeholders said they were concerned the new schedule excises an entire month of stakeholder feedback and compresses the time allotted for stakeholder review from four months to three.
But staff said putting an incomplete draft report forward for review creates more confusion than necessary.
“When you get the report, it should be substantially complete,” Director of Planning Jeff Webb said.
“I think it’s probably good for the stakeholders and the board to have a very focused MTEP report,” PAC Chair Cynthia Crane said.
However, Crane asked for a more detailed discussion on what exactly would be removed from the report.
Moser said he would return to the April PAC meeting with more specifics. He also said the move will be discussed before the Board of Directors next week to outline what a more streamlined report might look like.