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Minnesota Renewable Energy Integration & Transmission Study

In 2013 the Minnesota Legislature adopted a requirement for a study of increasing the state’s Renewable Energy Standards (RES) to 40% by 2030, and to higher proportions thereafter, while maintaining system reliability1.

The study results show that the addition of wind and solar generation to supply 40% of Minnesota’s annual electric retail sales can be reliably accommodated by the electric power system. 

Key points

  • The Minnesota Renewable Energy Integration and Transmission Study (MRITS) began in November 2013 and was completed in October 2014.
  • MRITS is an engineering study of increasing the state’s Renewable Energy Standards (RES) to 40% by 2030, and to higher proportions thereafter, while maintaining system reliability.
  • MRITS builds upon prior renewable integration studies and related technical work and was coordinated with other regional power system study work.
  • The MN utilities and transmission companies, in coordination with the Midcontinent Independent Transmission Service Operator (MISO), conducted the engineering study;
  • The Department directed the study and appointed a Technical Review Committee (TRC) comprised of local, regional, and national engineering organizations with expertise in electric transmission system engineering, electric power system operations, and renewable energy generation technology to work collaboratively on the study’s proposed methods and assumptions, and analysis;
  • The final study includes: 1) A conceptual plan for transmission for generation interconnection and delivery and for access to regional geographic diversity and regional supply and demand side flexibility, and 2) Identification and development of mitigations and solutions to potential issues encountered.
  • The analytical results from this study show that the addition of wind and solar (variable renewable) generation to supply 40% of Minnesota’s annual electric retail sales can be reliably accommodated by the electric power system. Further analysis would be needed to ensure system reliability at 50% of Minnesota’s annual electric retail sales from variable renewables.

Final report and presentations

1 Legislation passed in 2013 required a Renewable Energy Integration and Transmission Study (MN Laws 2013, Chapter 85 HF 729 , Article 12, Section 4). The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered all Minnesota electric utilities and transmission companies to participate in the study (Docket No. E-999/CI-13-486 ).

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