Green Power Express Q & A
1. What is the Green Power Express?
The Green Power Express identifies ITC's efforts for planning infrastructure for the transmission
of electricity derived in significant part from renewable fuels and resources and is a set of
transmission expansions developed by ITC that would allow the significant wind resources
naturally abundant in the Midwest region to be developed and integrated into the electric grid.
This project, first conceptualized almost a year ago, will create a network of 765 kilovolt (kV)
transmission lines that form a high-voltage electric highway that will serve the region's growing
demand for clean energy in the near term and provide the infrastructure to foster more efficient
development of electric resources in the future. The network of transmission facilities is also
referred to as The Green Power Express, and ITC estimates that approximately 12,000
megawatts (MW) of power from the high capacity and consistent wind areas will be enabled
through the construction of the Green Power Express.
2. Why is this project needed?
The Green Power Express is sorely needed because the region lacks the electric transmission
backbone needed to efficiently integrate vast amounts of wind energy. The existing system was
not designed to support the broader regional transfer capability required to meet renewable
portfolio standards implemented in many states. This project will help alleviate the bottleneck of
generator interconnection requests at the Midwest ISO, many of which are for new wind
resources, by providing an outlet for generation developers to get their power to homes and
businesses across the region.
3. What does the filing ITC recently made mean?
ITC's newly created limited partnership Green Power Express LP filed what is known as a
Federal Power Act Section 205 application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
requesting approval of a rate and incentives for the construction of the Green Power Express
including the approval of a regulatory asset for recovery of development expenses which will
allow ITC to continue development efforts for the Green Power Express.
4. What is this new entity that made the filing at FERC? Is it a subsidiary of ITC, or is it a
Green Power Express LP is a newly created limited partnership, the general partner of which is
ITC Green Power Express LLC, whose purpose is to focus on the development of the Green
Green Power Express Q & A
5. What will the project look like?
The Green Power Express as developed by ITC's planning engineers includes approximately
3,000 miles of new 765 kV transmission infrastructure and will traverse portions of North
Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and likely into Indiana. 765 kV
technology was chosen because it provides a long-term solution for the most efficient delivery of
wind power to the demand centers in the region while having fewer land use impacts than lower
voltage "band-aid" approaches. The project is still in the development stage so further studies
could refine the actual location of facilities needed.
6. Did ITC or Green Power Express consider direct current ("DC") facilities as a possible
solution? If not, why not?
DC is a good technology solution, if used in the proper application and setting; however, in the
development of the Green Power Express, DC was never seriously considered because of its
fundamental limitations expected under the current configuration. The Green Power Express
was designed to be an extra high-voltage backbone that would gather the wind from the
disparate areas within the abundant region and transport it eastward. DC, on the other hand,
generally is used to deliver energy from point A to point B with little opportunity for intermediate
on-ramps and off-ramps. As such, DC would result in less flexibility for integrating wind
generation onto the system and getting the wind power off the system when delivering wind to
load. DC lines do not allow for easy redirection of power in the case of a line outage and
therefore, at this point, a DC solution would make the system vulnerable from a reliability
standpoint. In short, DC transmission is not the appropriate first-step to move power in the area
covered by the Green Power Express.
7. Will you partner with others? If so what is your expected portion of the whole project?
The Green Power Express will require wide support, not only by regulators but also by local
utilities and wind developers in order to move this project forward and realize the vast benefits
of this project. As such, ITC has already begun developing partnerships with local utilities and
will announce them as they are solidified.
8. Which utilities is ITC developing partnerships with?
ITC is still working to solidify the partnerships and plans to announce them as they are agreed
Green Power Express Q & A
upon. Local utilities and wind developers that have already expressed their support for the
Green Power Express include: NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE), NextEra Energy (formerly
FPLE), Iberdrola Renewables, Generation Energy Inc., Montgomery Power Partners, Denali
Energy, National Wind, Crownbutte Wind Power, Wind Capital Group and RES Americas.
9. How does this fit in with the Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative (UMTDI)
announced by the Governors of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin in
The Green Power Express is a project that has been in development for almost a year prior to
the announcement of the creation of the UMTDI. ITC was very pleased to see the creation of
the UMTDI and finds that the Green Power Express is consistent with their stated goals and
objectives. We support UMTDI's focus on the need for a more robust transmission system to
support the integration of wind energy resources. ITC believes that by bringing forward this
proposal it will enable the UMRDI to more quickly complete its important work. ITC looks
forward to continuing to work with the UMTDI and other stakeholders to advance the Green
10. When will construction start and how long will it take to complete?
Construction will start once all of the related studies have been completed, regulatory approvals
have been received and the detailed routing of the project has been completed and approved
as appropriate. Due to the size and scope of this project along with the various state and federal
approvals that will be required, ITC is aggressively targeting to have the Green Power Express
in service by 2020.
11. How will the project cost be allocated among RTOs, the Interconnecting Generators, and
Cost allocation for this project has not yet been determined since this type of project is not
clearly addressed by existing RTO tariff provisions. A solution will require the involvement of the
Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (Midwest ISO), transmission customers,
other stakeholders and the FERC. It is ITC's expectation that a fair method that appropriately
identifies the project benefits and allocates the cost accordingly will be developed and submitted
to FERC for approval. ITC has not yet determined the details of the rate provisions it will seek
from the FERC, although a formulaic approach will likely be used, consistent with ITC's other
12. Is ITC going to submit this project to be part of the Midwest ISO MTEP process?
Green Power Express Q & A
Yes, concurrent with the application to FERC, ITC also submitted the Green Power Express to
the Midwest ISO for inclusion in the MTEP under Appendix C.
13. What regulatory steps and approvals are needed and what is the anticipated timing?
The recent filing at FERC is the first of several that ITC anticipates making on behalf of the
Green Power Express. Following these approvals, ITC will initiate activities to obtain all
necessary state approvals for the first stages of this project.