"...order that the MTEP 08 addition of the Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse transmission line is prohibited because electrical impacts of the addition of this project to the grid were not considered, and that instead of improving the reliability of the system, it contributes to and/or causes electrical system instability, that the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) has neglected its duty to preserve the reliability of the system, and that the Commission Order revocation of the Midwest Independent Transmission Service Operator (MISO) approval of the CapX 2020 Hampton-La Crosse transmission project because the addition of the Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse transmission line contributes to and/or causes system instability."
The citizen groups' complaint relies on the segmented approval and construction of the CapX 2020 lines. While the projects are supposedly parts of a larger plan, the utilities have admitted that construction of the subject segment without an additional transmission line to Madison will bring about instability that will cause the system to "reach a tipping point." An additional line to Madison has not yet been applied for or approved.
MISO's piecemeal project portfolio will cause system instability if all parts are not built. Construction has already begun on portions of the project in Minnesota, but without an extension of the line to Madison, it is merely a radial line dumping excess electricity into LaCrosse that has no outlet. Because the second line has not been approved, there is no guarantee it will be built. The complainants also point out that previous arguments by the applicants that the two lines are separate projects have clearly violated the National Environmental Protection Act prohibiting the segmentation of dependent projects.
So, which is it? Are these separate projects or are they integral parts of a single project? MISO cannot have it both ways.
Will FERC take the initiative to administer some sorely needed discipline upon one of its regional transmission organization darlings? Or will it continue to let its unruly children run wild until we're all sitting in the dark?
Read more here, here here and here.