- Complying with the federal government's Clean Power Plan will require at least $1.5 billion in transmission investments, according to ICF International, and potentially up to $2.5 billion.
- While the investment level is "manageable," ICF said the timing and planning of the transmission upgrades represents a larger challenge.
ICF International held a webinar this week to discuss how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan could impact the nation's transmission system and necessary investment levels. The firm said that while there have been a range of regional assessments, none have looked at the transmission system as a whole.
ClimateWire, which first reported the discussion, said ICF characterized the investment requirement as a conservative figure, representing about 3% of anticipated transmission investments over the next five years. ICF's analysis was based around Midcontinent Independent System Operator's needs and scaled up.
"The challenge will lie in identifying needs and constructing new infrastructure (or reworking planned investments) quickly enough to match the timeline of retirements and new builds," the firm said.
ICF said MISO will likely require investments of $500 million to $750 million to address transmission security issued caused by the CPP. Much of the investment timing will depend on the final timeline for emission reductions, which will be announced when the final Clean Power Plan is issued by the EPA this summer.
"Depending on the CPP implementation glide path and policy mechanisms in the final rule, the majority of investments could be needed as soon as 2020, or they could start coming into place in the following years," ICF said in its presentation.