top of page

CDS Products Overview


The CDS will deliver the following products for CDS Participants:


  1. A CDS Study Report, in Microsoft Word® or PowerPoint® format, describing the process, results and products of all the study Tasks detailed below.

  2. GridView® model database joining together the then-current utility planning models of WECC, SPP, MISO and PJM, modified to include correctly time-diversified hourly electric loads and renewables output across the country. 

  3. Interactions and discussions between the PftP project team and the CDS Participants forming options and opinions regarding technology, market, organization and regulatory issues associated with a project like PftP.


The Products by CDS Task


Task 1: Economics Modeling


CDS subcontractor ABB will build and operate a GridView® model for the study.  GridView® is a security-constrained,* production cost model. 


The then-current utility planning models of WECC, SPP, MISO and PJM will joined together as the Base Case, allowing discrimination of model results down to the individual utility level.  ABB will populate the model with the appropriate time-diversified hourly electric loads (to capture effects of load diversity) and renewable energy outputs across the country (important to evaluate the effects of geographic and thus time diversity between widely dispersed and diverse renewable energy sources on the reliability value of renewables in the aggregate).


Once the Base Case is built and verified, the ABB will explore various scenarios of added HVDC transmission links and grid-level storage, both separately and in combination (See the CDS Statement of Work for Scenario details).  ABB will add large quantities (1000s of MW) of additional renewable energy in the Upper Midwest (i.e., Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska) made possible by the HVDC developments and the access to markets they would enable.


The modeling will quantify, for both the total project and individual utilities (including both CDS Participants, and non-participants) where applicable, the following changes for each Scenario:


  • Production (fuel) costs.

  • Regional renewable energy levels.

  • Greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Capacity factors of legacy generation resources.

  • Market value of existing and new renewable resources.

  • Capacity value of individual renewables when aggregated together inter-regionally.

  • HVDC line flows and sizing.

  • Energy storage utilization.

  • Potential for East-West (California and Upper Midwest) surplus renewable energy swaps


The team will perform high level engineering economics evaluations whether resulting production and other cost savings of the HVDC and storage developments would justify their investment and operating costs.  These calculations will be done using both public power and investor-owned utility financial parameters.

In the CDS, the conceptual new HVDC transmission, storage and additional renewable resources will not be ear-marked for ownership by particular entities. However, by examining their market value and other results from the CDS, the CDS Participants and other entities may decide whether they are interested in owning some or all of them in future steps in the PftP project.


In addition to Power from the Prairie, the various Task 1 Scenarios will also determine separately as building blocks the values of the proposed Soo Green HVDC project from Iowa to Chicago, and the proposed TransWest Express HVDC project from Wyoming to Utah.


Following the CDS, CDS Participants will have an option to receive a copy of the GridView® model database product for their own internal studies at no additional cost.


Task 2: Technology and Operations


The Task A economics modeling alone makes the CDS innovative and unique.  But the study will not only be about modeling.  It will explore what it would mean and what it would take to actually accomplish such a PftP project.


To be clear, the CDS will not result in final decisions to be used by a Power from the Prairie project.  Those would be made later.  Instead, the CDS will develop information and foster discussions and debate among the CDS Participants regarding the related considerations and issues and the Participants’ preferences on various topics in Tasks 2 and 3.


The modeling results of Task 1 are necessary, but not sufficient for the CDS Participants to fully evaluate a PftP project.  Accordingly, the PftP Team, working with the CDS Participants, technology and market operations regional experts and stakeholders (e.g., SPP, MISO, WAPA, etc.), and potentially Subject Matter Expert (SME) subcontractors as necessary will accomplish Task 2, which will address Technology and Operational issues for PftP.  These issues include:


  • Definition of applicable HVDC technology options.

  • Identify the HVDC connectivity and operations required by the modeling and assess the technological options.

  • Define the scope of the HVDC sufficiently to define its operation and commercial use.

  • Definition of a market structure concept for operating such an inter-regional HVDC line.

  • Identify the market structures of the markets to which the HVDC line will have access.

  • Compare how the markets are operated, schedules submitted, and real time operations conducted.

  • Identify potential problems or concerns for operations.

  • Consider how wind generation companies might ship power on the HVDC line.

  • Consider how transmission systems might be structured to connect wind fields to the HVDC line.

  • Consider if the HVDC would be considered a generation outlet facility, part of an AC transmission system, or part a transmission system serving retail systems and the regulatory processes associated with such functionality and markets.

  • Consider whether the HVDC might provide a mix of functions for both generation outlet and wholesale marketing.

  • Consider whether the HVDC would have its own tariffs, or would the tariffs exist at the conversion to or from the AC networks.

  • Review market structure options with the CDS Participants to ensure the best options are considered.

  • Consider how such a line would be operated in relation to regional markets.

  • How the HVDC line would operate relative to the current regional markets with which it will interconnect.

  • Whether the interconnections would be accomplished via Transmission Interconnection Agreements or Large Generation Interconnection Agreements.

  • What coordination would be required between the Eastern Interconnection and the Western Interconnection for the dynamic operation of the HVDC.

  • Who the counter parties would be at the points of interface with the markets.

  • Coordinate these considerations with each regional market as directed by the CDS Participants

  • Consider how automated the HVDC line operation can be.

  • Depending upon the results of the modeling, the operation of the HVDC line may be automated such that it could be monitored and locally operated by the current Energy Control Centers without the need for a new Center.

  • List the features that would be included in the automation of the HVDC line.

  • List firms that might be able to perform such automation of schedules and real time operations.

  • Consider PftP’s relationship to regional RTO/ISO markets.

  • Review and state how the HVDC line would apply for interconnection with other RTO/ISO markets.

  • List the studies required by each RTO/ISO or Balancing Authority (BA) interconnection.

  • Consider the regulatory requirements that might be associated with Renewable Energy resources and the associated energy accounting.

  • State how the HVDC line might comply with FERC Order 1000 and other planning requirements

  • Recommend if Energy Imbalance Market or Inter-hour Scheduling should be considered in the future.

  • Consider how renewable and other facilities would request interconnection to PftP.

  • Determine the regions where wind and solar generation are expected to be located

  • Solicit potential interest from a transmission company or companies that are interested in interconnecting renewable resources with the HVDC line.

  • Consider how the regulatory model will be affected by the renewable generation and associated collector systems.

  • Consider the types of cyber security provisions that need to be included in project design.

  • Have the automation vendors provide cyber security options regarding the potential automation of the scheduling and operation of the line.

  • Incorporate the DC to AC into the cyber security of the Energy Control Center which it is connected and who will supervise its operations.

  • Consider repeatability in similar HVDC projects elsewhere in the U.S.

  • Consider results from the Seams Study and how those results might be incorporated into the PftP project.

  • Consider potential expansion or extension of the PftP HVDC line to other lines.

  • Propose how such expansions, extension, or interconnections might be considered, studied, and managed.


Task 3: Organization and Regulation


Similar to Task 2, the PftP Team will also accomplish Task 3, working with the CDS Participants, SME subcontractors and other stakeholders as may be appropriate.  Task 3 will address project organization and policy issues related to such an HVDC development.  These issues include:


  • Define organizational options useful for creating a “DC Federation” for organizing and implementing the PftP project or similar HVDC projects elsewhere in U.S.

    • Off-taker, generator, transmission owner, transmission operator, regulatory.

    • Consider repeatability in similar projects elsewhere in the U.S.

  • Identify federal/state/local regulatory, policy and tariff issues and develop a repeatable roadmap for addressing them when planning and developing similar projects elsewhere.

  • Consider the differences between incumbent utility and merchant ownership models.

    • Cost recovery (e.g., transmission owner pay versus generator pay, etc.).

    • Eminent domain

    • Effects of right-of-first-refusal (ROFR).

  • Consider permitting issues.

    • Federal

    • State

    • Local

  • Consider Federal Siting Options

    • National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor Act.

    • Section 1222 of EPAct 2005 in footprints of WAPA or SPP.

  • Understand Federal Triggers for National Energy Policy Act

    • Federal Land

    • Tribal Land

    • WAPA


Task 4: Study Management


Finally, the PftP team will provide overall CDS management, coordination and report writing including:

  • Coordinating necessary development and performance of contracts and Tasks between the PftP LLC and third-party vendors, the CDS Participants and subcontractors;

  • Management of CDS Participant review committee input and review;

  • Coordinating PftP team activities with those of third-party vendors, coordinating and managing subcontractor activities;

  • Report writing, and

  • Ensuring the project Deliverables are completed with high quality, on-time and within budget.


The results and products of all the CDS Tasks will be summarized in the CDS Report.

* “Security constrained” means the production cost model recognizes the configuration and limitations of the transmission system.

ABB is the purveyor of both the PROMOD® and GridView® models.  They will convert PROMOD® data to GridView® for the CDS, as PROMOD® cannot handle the resulting database size or run time like GridView® can.

bottom of page