Skip to Main Content

Transmission Benefit-Cost Analyses

We have unparalleled experience performing benefit-cost analyses of proposed transmission projects. We combine nodal market simulation modeling with other models to quantify transmission benefits not typically quantified.

Our toolset includes the most advanced nodal simulation model, Power System Optimizer® (PSO), but we have also extensively used PROMOD, GE-MAPS, and DAYZER when required as the convention in a particular market.  We use these models to capture reductions in system production costs under current system conditions and potential future scenarios, savings under extreme or unexpected market conditions, reductions in losses, and various operational efficiencies.

We have developed unique frameworks and tools to evaluate a wide range of transmission benefits beyond those related to energy markets to include reliability and resource adequacy benefits, capacity cost savings, market competition and liquidity benefits, environmental and other public policy benefits, employment and economic development benefits, and other project-specific benefits such as storm hardening.

We have also prepared guides to transmission benefit-cost analyses that have been relied upon widely by the industry and policy makers to improve transmission planning for economic and public policy needs: (cite the following reports in this order)


Below is a list of representative engagements for our Transmission Benefit-Cost Analyses practice.

Evaluation of "Wind Catcher" Energy Connection line to integrate the largest wind project in the U.S.

For American Electric Power (AEP), we developed a market simulation and benefit-cost framework to quantify the benefits of integrating the proposed 2,000 MW Wind Catcher generating plant through a 765 kV generation tie line from the wind-rich Oklahoma Panhandle region to the Tulsa load center. We quantified congestion and marginal loss benefits, impact on AEP load and generation prices, and costs compared to acquiring a similar amount of wind generation through traditional procurement options.  We also assisted AEP in integrating these analyses into its company-specific resource planning framework for presentation to state regulatory commissions.

Benefit-cost analysis of New York AC transmission upgrades

For the New York Department of Public Service (DPS) and NYISO, Brattle experts evaluated 21 alternative projects to increase transfer capability from Upstate to Southeast New York. We quantified a broad scope of economic benefits: traditional production cost savings from reduced congestion using GE-MAPS; additional production cost savings considering non-normal conditions; resource cost savings from being able to retire downstate capacity, delay of new entry, and shifting the location of future entry upstate; avoided costs from replacing aging transmission that would have to be refurbished; reduced costs of integrating new renewable resources upstate; and increased local tax receipts. The simulations enabled us to identify projects with the greatest and most robust net present value. The DPS used the analysis to inform its recommendation to the Public Service Commission to declare a “Public Policy Need” to build such a project.

Economic benefits of an extra-high voltage transmission project to enable wind projects

For a transmission company, we evaluated the likely economic benefits of a transmission project proposal, including the amount and quality of renewable energy resources that the proposed transmission could help support. We estimated the likely carbon emissions savings from implementing a regional extra-high voltage transmission overlay and enabling the energy delivery from high-qualify wind resources located in remote regions.

Benefits of offshore HVDC transmission network

Brattle experts analyzed costs and benefits of a proposed offshore transmission network compared to alternative transmission solutions. We evaluated public policy and reliability benefits, cost reductions and risk mitigation of offshore wind power developments through streamlined permitting processes and economies of scale, employment and economic stimulus benefits to the local economy, and electricity market impacts, including congestion relief, energy and capacity market benefits, and renewables integration cost advantages.

News & Knowledge