On May 15, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved an updated generator replacement procedure proposed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). This new procedure allows generators to bypass the new interconnection request queue so long as the replacement generation does not exceed current generator capacity. If it does, then only the incremental exceedance will be studied.
According to the FERC ruling, the new procedure “establishes a transparent and fuel-neutral process for replacing aged or uneconomical existing generating facilities with newer equipment and technology at the same electrical point of interconnect in order to respond to changing economics and policies.”
Why is this a big deal? Prior to approval of the new procedure, projects to replace or repower assets at an interconnection point were required to go through the same process as all new generation development opportunities. This lengthy approach subjected potential projects to an unpredictable timeline, ranging from 1.5 to three years, for MISO transmission impact assessment reviews.