Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

Meeting Summary by wpr1947


									                                  Meeting Summary
            NorthWestern Energy Transmission Advisory Committee
                               April 21, 2010

Meeting Participants
This Transmission Advisory Committee (TRANSAC) meeting was conducted via teleconference
and the internet site GoTo Those participating in the meeting included:

    Name                            Organization
At NWE Offices
Bill Pascoe                  Great Northern/Grasslands Renewable Energy
John Cummings                PPL Energy Plus (PPL)
Mark Zora                    PPL
John Leland                  NorthWestern Energy (NWE)
Don Bauer                    NWE
Ryan Munson                  NWE
Cathy Mathews                NWE
Jim Hadley                   NWE
Kathleen Bauer               NWE
Dan Wheeler                  NWE
Gerald Mueller               Consensus Associates

Via Telephone & Internet
Bryan Rogan                  Oversight Resources
Brian Dekiep                 Montana Public Service Commission (MPSC)
Larry Nordell                Montana Consumer Council

Standards of Conduct & Anti-Trust Policy
Kathy Bauer began the meeting by reviewing NWE’s standards of conduct and safeguards and
antitrust policy. Theses documents are available at the following web address.

The meeting participants reviewed and approved the following agenda:
• Administration
  – Approve the February 17, 2010 Meeting Summary
  – Action Item List Update
  – WECC Load and Resource Data Request and Compliance Efforts
  – Generation Interconnection Update
• Regional updates
  – FERC Approval of Attachment K
  – NTTG Biennial Plan Study and Data Request
  – Economic Study Request Update - MPSC Request - Gaelectric Request
• Bulk Electric System Update
• 1st Quarter of the new 2-yr Cycle - Local Area Study

April 21, 2010 NWE TRANSAC Meeting Summary                                          Page 1
  – Proposed Planning Scenarios
  – Alternative Solutions
  – Uncertainty Scenarios
• Action Item List Review
• Next Meeting

February 17, 2010 Meeting Summary - The participants in this meeting made no changes to the

Action Items - Kathy Bauer reviewed the two action items to be addressed at this meeting. One
was a review of changes that were made to the language on page 20 of Business Practice
document made in response to comments at the February 17, 2010 TRANSAC meeting. The
other was a discussion of uncertainty scenarios that will be considered in this cycle of the local
transmission planning process.

Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) Load and Resource Data Request - Cathy
Mathews read her report on the Load and Resource Data Request. A copy of her report is
available at the following web address.

Compliance Efforts - Cathy Mathews provided an update on standard compliance using a report
available at the following web address.

Generation Interconnection - Don Bauer provided the update. NWE currently has 3,000
megawatts (MWs) of existing generation and 1,700 MW of peak demand/core customers in its
control area. The interconnection queue currently includes 3,029 MW of proposed generation.
By generation type, this amount includes:
• Wind: 2,570 MW (29-Projects)
• Base Load-Coal Fired: 22 MW (1-Project)
• Hydro: 37 MW (6-Projects)
• Gas Fired: 400 MW (2-Projects)

More detail is available at the following web address.

Question - Is MATL one of the proposed generation projects?
Answer - No; it is a line interconnection project.

Question - Does the MATL project have tie meters on its northern end?
Answer - I don’t know. (Update: the tie meters are located on the northern end at Lethridge.)

Regional Updates
FERC Approval of Attachment K - John Leland stated that on April 9, 2010, the Federal Energy

April 21, 2010 NWE TRANSAC Meeting Summary                                                  Page 2
Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved NWE’s Attachment K. NWE had submitted its
Attachment K to FERC along with the other members of the Northern Tier Transmission Group
(NTTG). FERC approved all of the NTTG member Attachment K filings. NWE had begun
developing Attachment K in September 2007 with preparation of a straw man proposal, so the
approval process took three years to complete.

NTTG Biennial Plan Study and Data Request
John Leland reviewed the NTTG biennial plan study process using the following chart taken from
the NTTG Planning Committee charter approved on February 24, 2010.

The NTTG study process and the NWE local transmission planning process cross pollinate.
Stakeholders can provide information to the NTTG planning in the first and fifth quarters of its
local transmission planning process.

The NTTG economic study process differs from the NWE process in two respects. The first is the
number of studies conducted at no charge to requesters. NTTG conducts up to two economic studies
in a two year period at no charge. NWE conducts up to two studies per year at no charge to the
requester. Both NTTG and NWE will consider additional studies if the requesters pay for them. The
other difference is the date by which economic study requests must be made. The closure dates for
the study requests for WECC, NTTG, and NWE are as follows: WECC, end of January; NWE, end
of February; and NTTG, end of March.

Question - Your chart states that the NTTG study process requires stakeholders participation.
Shouldn’t the chart note that only members of the NTTG Planning Committee can submit economic
study requests?
Answer – Any Stakeholder can submit an economic study (e.g., local, sub-regional and regional)
request to the local Transmission Provider, but NTTG will consider only sub-regional economic
studies submitted by a Planning Committee member. We should include a note on the chart so

Economic Study Request Update - John Leland reviewed the eleven economic study requests received by
NWE this year, using the list found at:

April 21, 2010 NWE TRANSAC Meeting Summary                                                 Page 3
Comment by Bill Pascoe - Of the five PPL study requests, WECC is completing Study #1. It has reviewed the
requests labeled as Studies 2, 3, and 4, and determined them to be low priority. Study 5, which addresses a
WECC right-of-way criterion, has been referred to the WECC standard committee.

Question - Will the NWE projects be considered to determine economic feasibility?
Answer - No; the studies examine congestion from an engineering perspective and are not
compared to other alternatives. The MPSC study request, #10 on the list, will consider whether
implementing demand-side resources (DSM), peak shaving or distributed energy generation will
replace or defer other projects.

Comment - Studies labeled #6 and 9 (NWE #1 and #4, respectively) are included in the WECC
Transmission Expansion Planning Policy Committee (TEPPC) study plan.

Question - The description of Study #8 states that the capacity of the AMPS line would be
increased to 401 MW. What is the rating of Path 18?
Answer - The current north-south rating is 337 MW. NWE is seeking a 1500 MW N-S path
rating for MSTI.

Question - In the Gaelelectric request, is the 3,000 MW in Wyoming and 6,000 MW in Montana?
Answer - Yes. This study would consider what NWE’s local transmission system would look like if
6,000 MW of wind were added in NWE’s control area.

Question - Since the Gaelelectric request missed the deadline, what happens to it?
Answer - It may be considered as an uncertainty scenario in the current local plan study, or it can
be resubmitted next year as an economic study.

Comment - The Gaelelectric request is a larger version of the study that Rikin Shaw conducted last

Question - How did the MSTI and collector open season meeting NWE held last month go?
Answer - The meeting was well attended. Over the next couple of months, we will be working with
potential project participants so that we can ask them to make formal participation submittals.

Question - When can you report to TRANSAC about the open season?
Answer - I should be able to do so at the next TRANSAC meeting in July, along with the
preliminary results of the MPSC economic study.

Bulk Electric System Update
MSTI Study - Ryan Munson reported that the draft study of Path 8 posted on the NWE OASIS.
(See The study has
generated good comments and is being updated in response to them. The only voltage problems
identified in the study are in Utah and are not related to Montana States Transmission Intertie
(MSTI) project.

Question - How much power are you attempting to push into Utah?
Answer - 500 MW. We have generation run back schemes in place.

April 21, 2010 NWE TRANSAC Meeting Summary                                                     Page 4
Question - Does Phase 1 of the study cover north bound power flow?
Answer - We are developing dispatch levels for the north bound study.

Question - The rating for the north-south flows is 1,500 MW. What is it for south-north flows?
Answer - 950 MW.

Question - When will the south-north study report be issued?
Answer - We are focusing initially on completing the south bound flow studies, and then we will
look at north bound flows. We will submit both to WECC at the same time.

Question - How will remedial action schemes be used?
Answer - Above a 2,200 MW flow south bound on Path 8, the remedial action schemes will be
armed to prevent outages from cascading and tripping the Colstrip generation.

Comment - It would be useful to identify the best location for interconnecting the 6,000 MW of
wind in the Gaelelectric economic study request.

Business Practice ETP Methodology, Criteria and Process
Kathleen Bauer stated the revised the Business Practice ETP Methodology, Criteria and Process
document was posted on the NWE OASIS on April 2, 2010. Comments on it are due in thirty
days, i.e., on May 2, 2010.

Don Bauer discussed the changes made on page 20 in response to TRANSAC comments at the
February 17, 2010 meeting. The revised text is as follows:
   NWE requires that new generators connecting to the NWE transmission system be capable of
   producing or absorbing reactive power within a range of 0.9 leading to 0.9 lagging power
   factor -- as calculated at the generator terminals at rated continuous power output -- to
   support voltage schedules specified by NWE. The intent of this requirement may be
   effectively met through machine characteristics or other external means. This requirement
   does not apply to wind generators.

Question - Are PPL’s comments on this documented posted on the NWE OASIS?
Answer by Kathy Bauer - PPL’s comments and NWE’s response to them are posted at the
following web address.

Comment - The discussion on page 17 after Table 1 discusses load serving bus voltages. This
may be a good place to clarify voltage limits for generation buses.
Response - NWE’s intention was not to disregard voltage limits on generation buses, but instead
to provide them with more leeway.

Comment - The voltage in the Rainbow area runs high. Installing reactors may reduce this

April 21, 2010 NWE TRANSAC Meeting Summary – Rev. 1                                      Page 5
Response - During light spring loads, the hydro generation absorbs VARs. Placing a reactor
would not change the voltage levels. The generator set points would have to be changed.

Comment - The language around Table 1 on page 17 should be changed to keep machine buses
at ±5%
Response - I agree that machine buses should be operated within acceptable voltage levels. We
will consider a clarification; however, we should remember that the Table 1 voltage values apply
to transmission buses. I am hesitant to attempt to apply the voltage limits to buses that NWE
does not own.

Comment - Table 1 voltage levels could be applied at the point of interconnection.
Response - NWE will consider this.

1st Quarter of the New 2-yr Cycle - Local Area Study
Proposed Planning Scenarios - Don Bauer described the 2010-2011 planning base case scenarios
using the document found at the following web address.

Comment - The reactive scenarios should be included in the base case analysis.
Response - So noted.

Alternative Solutions - Don Bauer reviewed PPL’s suggestions for alternative solutions for the
problems identified in the local transmission process and NWE’s response to them using the
document found at the following web address.

Question - How are TRANSAC member suggestions about alternative solutions incorporated
into the planning process?
Answer - NWE conducts state of the transmission system studies based on the existing system,
load forecasts, and known system additions such as generation additions for which generation
interconnection agreements are signed. Once problems are identified, NWE selects mitigation
actions for them and prioritizes the actions using the decision rule developed with the advice of
TRANSAC members. NWE discusses the problems, mitigation, and mitigation prioritization at a
TRANSAC meeting and seeks TRANSAC member comments. A draft transmission plan is then
developed, and TRANSAC member comments are solicited on the draft plan. TRANSAC
member suggestions for alternative solutions are also welcomed during the first quarter of the
subsequent planning year, so that they can be considered along with NWE’s other solutions in the
planning cycle for the subsequent year.

Comment - PPL comments #2 through #5 can be revisited in reactive planning scenarios.
Response - NWE does analyze reactive power issues in its transmission system studies.

Comment - Mitigation for dynamic issues is different than thermal and voltage issues.

April 21, 2010 NWE TRANSAC Meeting Summary – Rev. 1                                      Page 6
Comment - Rikin Shaw’s studies of the 2009 wind economic study request identified additional
Colstrip generation tripping.
Response - Economic studies address hypothetical system changes, not known changes. These
studies may be thought of as “tire kicking.” Mitigation is developed for problems identified in
studies of the existing and forecasted transmission system, based on forecasted load growth, plus
other known system changes. Mitigation steps identified in economic studies are very high level,
and are in effect “put on the shelf” in case the economic study conditions occur. In actual
generation interconnection studies, project specific mitigation such as remedial action schemes
(RAS), static or dynamic var devices, new lines, or other forms of mitigation are considered to
maintain system reliability during dynamic system events.

Comment - Could the results of the scenario analysis be used to provide useful information to
your system operators during unusal operating conditions?
Response - Yes. Planning and other operating studies are routinely shared with system operators.

Uncertainty Scenarios – Don Bauer reviewed the role of uncertainty scenarios in the planning
process and identified possible uncertainty scenarios for this planning cycle using the document
found at the following web address.

Question - Is it correct to say that the uncertainty scenarios test the robustness of the mitigation
Answer - The uncertainty scenarios do provide information about how the mitigation would
perform against a range of possible conditions. They may, however, influence planning for
implementing the mitigation steps. For example, the studies on DSM, peak shaving and
distributed generation may displace or defer mitigation actions. The uncertainty cases are not
likely to be primary drivers in developing system solutions.

Question - Will you consider reactive planning in developing your system base cases?
Answer - Yes. Please email ideas about this to me.

Comment - NWE should consider the Gaelectric economic study request in developing
generation uncertainty cases.
Response - We will consider this proposal, but there is no guarantee all of these requests can be
formally considered in uncertainty scenarios.

Comment - NWE should seek TRANSAC member advice about prioritizing the uncertainty
Response - We will do so. Because the uncertainty analysis does not occur until quarters five
and six in the planning cycle, we have time to consider specific ideas about the scenarios to
consider and their priority.

Comment - The NERC Standard TPL-001 discussed by Cathy Mathews will likely be adopted in
some form. NWE should, therefore, take it into account in its planning.
Response - We consider possible standard changes on an ongoing basis.

April 21, 2010 NWE TRANSAC Meeting Summary – Rev. 1                                          Page 7
Review Action Items
Gerald Mueller noted one action item arising at this meeting. John Leland agreed to provide a
report about the MSTI and collector open seasons at the next TRANSAC meeting.

Next Meeting
The next TRANSAC meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, July 22, 2010.

Committee members provide advice to NWE as individual professionals; the advice they provide
does not bind the agencies or organizations that the members serve.

April 21, 2010 NWE TRANSAC Meeting Summary                                              Page 8

To top