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AWEA, Wind on the Wires Support Midwest ISO Queue Reforms

July 23, 2008

AWEA regional partner Wind on the Wires (WOW) and AWEA filed comments with the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) supporting the general direction of interconnection queue reforms proposed by the Midwest Independent System Operator (ISO); however, the comments also emphasized that queue problems will not be solved until more transmission capacity gets built, which must be done through a process that includes proactive planning and regional cost allocation.

AWEA and WOW expressed support for changing the current “first in, first processed” approach to a milestone-based approach (i.e., a “first ready, first processed” approach. They also expressed support for the “direction” of the queue reform effort, but emphasized that the details of the interconnection process are critical to its success. Toward that end, the groups recommended that FERC approve the Midwest ISO filing, subject to it making a subsequent filing that makes the modifications requested and addresses the various concerns raised in their comments.

“The root cause of interconnection queue problems still needs to be addressed following the Interconnection Queue process changes the Midwest ISO has proposed,” the comments stated. “Interconnection backlog and delays are largely due to the need for more transmission capacity and a workable cost allocation approach to fund transmission upgrades.”

AWEA and WOW noted that the “interconnection queue process cannot cure cancer and it cannot be relied upon to address all of the needs of the grid.” The groups urged that the Midwest ISO put in place a cost allocation approach “that can be used to move projects identified in their regional transmission planning process quickly toward construction. The interconnection queue process must be designed to work with the transmission planning process and a regional cost allocation process in order to fully address the queue problems that exist today.”

Source: Wind Energy Weekly, July 18, 2008, Vol. 27, Issue 1298