Here’s how the Midwest power grid will be ready for renewable energy


The operator of the Midwest’s electrical grid on Monday approved a $10.3 billion upgrade of power transmission systems across nine states, including Michigan — an attempt to build a smarter, more interconnected and nimble power grid ready to better accommodate renewable energy.

The directors of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, a nonprofit organization representing nearly 200 power generators and transmitters across the region, on Monday unanimously approved a collection of 18 projects spanning its Midwest subregion, including more than 2,000 miles of new transmission lines. Called “Tranche 1,” it’s the largest portfolio of long-range transmission projects in US history for a regional transmission organization of its kind.

“The MISO grid is undergoing transformative change … moving from legacy fossil-fuel plants to intermittent renewable resources,” MISO spokesperson Brandon Morris said. “This change is placing a stress on the transmission system and creating the need to move power from where it’s generated to where it’s needed.”

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