On May 19, the Midwest ISO released the long-anticipated Minnesota Group 5 Re-Study Generator Interconnection System Impact Study, which Re-Study was ordered by FERC as the result of a cost allocation dispute between a wind developer (Community Wind) and the Midwest ISO with respect to the Brookings County-Twin Cities transmission line. In May 2010, FERC ruled that the Midwest ISO had not supported the percentage of costs for the Brookings line allocated to Community Wind in violation of the "but for" standard of cost allocation and ordered the Midwest ISO to restudy Community Wind's cost responsibility for Brookings (as well as the costs assigned to other Queue Group 5 projects). The Brookings dispute, and the underlying cost allocation drama that has been playing out in the Midwest ISO region for years, led, in part, to the new Multi-Value Project ("MVP") approach to cost allocation in the Midwest ISO. The costs of MVP projects are allocated broadly across the Midwest ISO's system rather than charged to interconnection customers.
The Re-Study concludes that Group 5's total cost exposure to mitigate reliability violations without the inclusion of Brookings and another MVP-candidate transmission line (Lacrosse-Cardinal) amounts to $632.98 million, or about $300,000/MW on average. With Brookings and Lacrosse built, the group's costs rise to over $1.4 billion, $1.1 billion of which may or may not ultimately be largely allocated to interconnection customers, depending on the Midwest ISO board's decision to classify Brookings and Lacrosse as MVP projects. It is expected that the Midwest ISO will soon file the Re-Study with FERC, and then proceed to begin amending Group 5 interconnection agreements to update cost responsibilities and construction timelines, as needed.