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About the Congressionally Mandated Interregional Transfer Capability Study

The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 directed the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to perform an Interregional Transfer Capability Study (ITCS) in consultation with the Regional Entities and transmitting utilities and file the report with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by December 2, 2024. The purpose of the ITCS is to assess the current total available transfer capability between neighboring areas as well as the future need for additional transfer capability to bolster reliability under various system conditions, including extreme weather.

Strong and flexible electric transmission systems capable of coping with a wide variety of system conditions are necessary for a reliable supply and delivery of electricity. Continuing resource mix changes require greater access and deliverability of electricity generation to maintain reliability—particularly during extreme weather and environmental conditions. The appropriate level of transfer capability among neighboring transmission planning regions is critical for the reliability of the interconnected electric transmission systems. Now, through the ITCS, NERC and the six Regional Entities will evaluate transfer capability across major regional transmission interfaces through a series of electrical power transfer studies. In addition, the ITCS will provide prudent recommendations for increases to total transfer capability to maintain bulk power system reliability.

The ITCS is unprecedented in both magnitude and scope. NERC and the Regional Entities (collectively the ERO Enterprise) will implement the study over the course of 2023-2024. NERC created an ITCS Project Team, which includes NERC and Regional Entity staff, to develop the project scope, define objectives, finalize the project plan, and execute the study. There are currently four groups within the ITCS Project Team that include: the Report Writing Team, the Scenarios, Assumptions, Metrics, Adequacy (SAMA) Team, the Transfer Study Team, and the FERC Coordination Team.

To support and provide input on the ITCS, Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) formed an internal ITCS team comprised of executive staff, management, and reliability assessment engineers. The MRO ITCS team members are also part of the four groups within the ITCS Project Team and actively participate in the project meetings and provide suggestions and input on the ITCS study design and execution. As one of the four Eastern Interconnection (EI) regions, MRO staff provide expert insights on the study scenario assumptions and source and sink definitions of the Eastern Interconnection. More information regarding the ITCS, including the framework and plan, can be found on the NERC website. The website will be updated quarterly.

Dianlong Wang, MRO Senior Reliability Assessment Engineer