The Concept Development Study (CDS)
Power from the Prairie (PftP) is a proposed 4,000 Megawatt high voltage direct current (HVDC) interregional electric transmission line. Spanning from the wind fields of Wyoming across South Dakota or Nebraska to the wind fields of Iowa, it represents an electric transmission superhighway to enable swaps to time-diversified renewable energy from the Pacific Coast to and from Chicago and Eastward.
The PftP LLC team developed and completed a Concept Development Study (CDS) to examine the potential of the PftP project, and how it could be accomplished. Working in coordination with a Review Committee of CDS Participants and observers, the CDS represents a “cookbook” example for how to do an interregional transmission project.
The CDS is the first interregional electric transmission study to use standard utility datasets to model nodal economic results down to the individual utility level. The study spans the seam between the Western and Eastern Interconnections of the U.S. electric grid and examined swaps of time-diversified clean energy from one end to the other.
Some reviews of the CDS and its Final Report:
a utility CDS Participant
“Comprehensive, thought-provoking, good work”
a Regional Transmission Organization
The CDS was not just an engineering technical study. The challenges involved are not technical. Instead, they are geopolitical, organizational, and regulatory. It entailed four Tasks: 1) Modeling, 2) Technology and Market Relationships, 3) Organization and Regulatory, and 4) Study Management. It took eleven months to accomplish and cost $800,000. The cost was syndicated among the CDS Participants.
Its results, summarized in the CDS Final Report available for download below, will inform development of the coalition of developers and utilities that will accomplish a Power from the Prairie project and associated renewable energy developments it will enable. It represents a repeatable example for other, similar projects to follow.
As background, a video of a presentation on Power from the Prairie and its CDS at the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/312804009.