With the increase in Electric Vehicles’ availability in Midwest states, it is time to acknowledge the opportunities for charging EVs at MISO, the regional grid operator. MISO has an established transmission planning process for incorporating future industry trends, including EV growth. The regional grid operator estimates both electrification and EVs add almost 50% to the annual energy and peak demand forecasts in the next 20 years. And transmission owners see this as an opportunity to build more transmission, however it’s important to remember that aggregated EV can be a distributed energy resource (DER).
MISO and other grid operators can enable EV prospects by allowing aggregated EVs to participate in the energy markets. This blog is part 2 of 3 articles that should make a case as to why EV prospects are looking brighter in the Midwest, even if any one of the Midwest states is not California.
MISO 2021 plan estimates a 50% increase in demand and energy due to electrification and EV load by 2040
The MISO Transmission Expansion Plan (MTEP) 2021 was put together before the November 2020 U.S. Presidential elections. This timeline is relevant because the most carbon-free future MTEP 21 contemplated aims for 50% penetration across the region for solar and wind energy. But since the Biden administration took over in January 2021, it is reasonable to expect MISO planning assumptions to change and make this aggregative case almost a base case going forward.
MISO, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and consultant Applied Energy Group estimate 32.686 million EVs (including heavy-duty) on the road by 2040 in the Midwest. As one would expect, a large share of this estimate assumes EV growth from states like Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, with the least share from southern states like Arkansas.
MISO is rethinking transmission cost allocation
MISO has started a Long-Range Transmission Plan (LRTP) process to incorporate siloed transmission planning such as generator interconnection, reliability, economic project, and policy planning. Let’s look at what transmission projects become eligible via the LRTP process, and how those project costs will be allocated.
Currently, MISO transmission project costs are allocated based on the identified need on the system. If there is a reliability need, the incumbent transmission owner is allocated those costs, who recover those costs from transmission customers. If there is an economic need such as transmission congestion, the entire regional load in which the project is located pays.
It is unlikely that aggregated EVs would drive the need for a large economic transmission project leading to cost-sharing across multiple utilities. Most likely, EVs would drive the need for a reliability project.
MISO utilities can aggregate EV load like DR programs
A key difference with California is, none of the MISO states except for Illinois allow third-party aggregators. As a result, aggregated EV operators are the distribution utilities.
And aggregated EVs are similar to a demand response program. Both utilities and the ISO have a lot of working experience with DR and other demand-side programs. And MISO states where we can expect a surge in EV growth due to democratic governor’s policies are also states that have the most experience with DR programs.
MTEP22 would show some projects
MISO churns out an annual transmission expansion plan. The schedule laid out right now would be December 2022, when the MTEP reflects these new EV assumptions. It would be interesting to see which transmission projects would show up on the system under this electrification and EV scenario.
MISO Board would approve MTEP21 in December 2021. This plan would potentially show a need for large 345 kV competitive transmission because, in 2017, MISO had a competitive project called Hartburg-Sabine, a 500 kV line in the East Texas portion of MISO.
In this blog posting, a strong case is made for why EV prospects are looking up given MISO transmission planning assumptions. In the next and final part 3 blog, details behind Midwest grid operators’ market opportunities for aggregated EVs will be discussed. Stay tuned!
Other articles in this series:
Part 1: EV prospects increasing in MISO region, Part 1 of 3