The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and Wind on the Wires (WOW) filed a protest today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opposing a proposal by the Midwest Independent System Operator (Midwest ISO) that, if approved, would discourage the development of wind project in a region with very high wind resources, according to the groups.
The proposed change would nearly double the cost for a wind plant to connect to the power system in the Upper Midwest, potentially forcing many wind plant developers to pull the plug on tens of billions of dollars of investment they have planned for the region, the groups say.
‘The proposed policy change is like requiring the next car entering a congested highway to pay the full cost of adding a new lane,’ says WOW Director Beth Soholt. ‘Obviously such a policy is unworkable, which in our case means that wind projects will not be able to connect to the grid.’
AWEA and WOW go on to say that instead of broadly distributing the costs of transmission in a way that matches the benefits of building a stronger grid, such as improved reliability and reduced power prices, the proposal would assign virtually all those costs to the next generator attempting to connect to the grid.