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What is NTTG?

The Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG) is a group of transmission providers and customers that are actively involved in the sale and purchase of transmission capacity of the power grid that delivers electricity to customers in the Northwest and Mountain States.  Transmission owners serving this territory work in conjunction with state governments, customers, and other stakeholders to improve the operations of and chart the future for the grid that links all of these service territories.

NTTG coordinates individual transmission systems operation, products, business practices, and planning of their high-voltage transmission network to meet and improve transmission services that deliver power to consumers.

Northern Tier Transmission Group members are committed to working with stakeholders and state officials to increase efficient use of the grid and to develop the infrastructure needed to deliver new renewable and thermal power resources to consumers.  NTTG is a proactive group devoted to a collaborative, step-by-step approach to achieve prompt and cost-effective results.

What geographical area does NTTG cover?nttg map final xxlarge

NTTG is a regional entity spanning from the Pacific Northwest to the desert Southwest.  NTTG has direct state regulatory commission participation in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, and Utah.  It has participating utility members with service areas in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Utah.

How many customers are served by the transmission owners participating in NTTG?

Total customers served - 4,308,200

  • Portland General Electric - 1,634,700 customers 
  • PacifiCorp - 1,600,000 customers
  • Idaho Power - 471,800 customers
  • NorthWestern Energy - 316,000 customers
  • UAMPS (a public power organization) - 240,700 customers
  • Deseret (a generation and transmission cooperative) - over 45,000 customers


How many miles of high-voltage transmission lines are included within NTTG?

In total NTTG members directly own and market more than 29,239 miles of transmission lines.

  • PacifiCorp - 15,580 miles
  • Northwestern Energy - 7,000 miles
  • Idaho Power - 4,691 miles
  • Portland General Electric - 1,681 miles
  • Deseret - 287 miles


How is NTTG managed?

A Steering Committee has been established with responsibility for providing governance and direction on the initiatives undertaken by the Northern Tier Transmission Group members and to provide a forum for facilitating dispute resolution.

The Steering Committee membership is composed of one representative from each of the following:

  • State regulatory utility commissioners in Northern Tier
  • Executive level representatives from the utility cooperative and utilies, which are party to the NTTG Funding Agreement
  • Representatives appointed by state customer advocacy groups within Northern Tier


As the independent staff, Comprehensive Power Solutions provides third-party management and planning facilitation services for the ongoing operations and development of NTTG.

How do I contact NTTG?

You can find current NTTG contact information on Northern Tier's website.  Click here for more information.

Will NTTG engage in reliability or economic planning?

NTTG covers both reliability and economic planning coordination, and has started by identifying projects that have been previously studied and spurred interest from members within the NTTG service area.  NTTG works under the WECC PCC for reliability planning, WECC TEPPC for economic planning, and is working to implement a framework for cooperation with neighboring sub-regional planning entities.

What role does NTTG play in regional planning?

NTTG focuses its efforts on the evaluation of transmission projects that move power across the sub-regional bulk transmission system that services load in its footprint.  NTTG committed to coordinating the facilitation of sub-regional planning efforts with adjacent sub-regional groups and other planning entities.  It is expected that WECC will continue to be responsible for coordinating and promoting electric system reliability of the Western Interconnection through its role in regional reliability planning and facility rating, and by providing economic planning services through TEPPC to its members.

How does NTTG plan to meet FERC's reform planning requirements?

NTTG is committed to the principles outlined in FERC Order 890, including direct and meaningful involvement of state regulatory commissions and retail customer advocacy groups, providing forums for open participation of all parties (including non-members), and executive level support and involvement by member utilities.

What is NTTG's dispute resolution mechanism?

NTTG members are committed to using the dispute resolution process in the NTTG Planning Agreement originally executed by the NTTG members on August 10, 2007.  This same process also governs how disputes that are raised with respect to the work of the NTTG Cost Allocation Committee shall be resolved.  A complete text of the NTTG dispute resolution process may be viewed on the NTTG website.  For more information on the dispute resolution process Click here.

 Does NTTG support the creation of competitive markets in the Pacific Northwest?

Yes, the possible creation of economically justified competitive markets for ancillary services or energy and capacity products is an initiative that is on NTTG's long-term agenda.  Furthermore, the NTTG planning function supports competitive power markets by helping facilitate the kind of transmission projects that strengthen the grid and reduce congestion.  In the near term, however, NTTG is focusing on easily achievable initiatives that enjoy a broad support and will bring immediate and cost effective benefits to its service area.

What is NTTG doing to relieve congestion?

NTTG members Idaho power, NorthWestern Energy, and PacifiCorp all have announced major transmission expansion projects targeted at relieving regional congestion and serving their customer's load growth requirements.  The members of NTTG participate in and rely on the transparency of Northern Tier's sub-regional planning processes to further these projects.

Congestion and congestion relief are high priority issues for the members of NTTG, and near-term benefits are expected from mechanisms that will facilitate the more efficient use of existing capacity, such as transparency into NTTG member transmission providers' available transfer capability and supporting economic congestion studies as outlined in FERC's Order 890.  Long-term solutions will come from planning studies to identify key cost-effective transmission investments and working to facilitate their implementation.

What is ADI and how is NTTG facilitating further development?

NTTG members Idaho Power, NorthWestern Energy, and PacifiCorp, with support from British Columbia Transmission Corporation, have developed communication protocols and software to allow control areas to share Area Control Error (ACE) signals.  By sharing these signals, control areas take advantage of the diversity in these signals and help reduce the regulation capacity requirements.  This system is called ACE Diversity Interchange or ADI.  The ADI companies recognize that the development of ADI is not difficult and the benefits far exceed the development costs.

The ADI participants under NTTG are evaluating other similar processes or systems which could bring similar benefits to its members in future phases of the ADI development.  These efforts may result in the development or permit the transmission of new capacity and energy products within the ADI footprint.

How does NTTG facilitate investment in transmission construction?

NTTG fosters a spirit of cooperation and accountability among provider, customers, and regulators which encourages transmission construction that best addresses the needs of the region.  The operation of NTTG's cost allocation process promotes financing efforts and provides valuable insights for those developing the projects.  NTTG members Idaho Power, NorthWestern Energy, and PacifiCorp recently announced major expansion projects which already enjoy a significant level of support among member utilities and the region.  For projects beyond these, NTTG and its member utilities are establishing the framework for an ongoing Order 890-compliant planning process that will also include new tools for such difficult tasks as cost allocation and economic planning.

How does NTTG ensure transparency, and still ensure confidential information is protected?

Regular public forums that address the areas of planning and transmission utilization are open to all interested parties.  The NTTG Planning and Steering Committee are establishing mechanisms to ensure confidential information and critical energy infrastructure information is protected and compliant with current WECC models and CEII rules.

Does NTTG have an independent third party to oversee or coordinate the planning process?

NTTG is overseen by the Steering Committee, with participation from commissions in each state and executives from transmission providers.  NTTG also provides third party project management and planning facilitation services provided through Comprehensive Power Solutions, Inc which represent the members of NTTG.

How does NTTG address cost allocation and recovery?

NTTG has established a Cost Allocation Committee whose purpose is to apply Cost Allocation Principles consistently, openly, and fairly, while conducting analyses of cost allocations that accompany transmission project proposals developed in the NTTG planning processes and to make recommendations on cost allocations to the Steering Committee based on those analyses.  Each regulatory commission, state consumer agency and publicly-owned or consumer-owned entity which is a member of NTTG may appoint one person to represent it as a member of the Cost Allocation Committee.

For more information on the NTTG's Cost Allocation Principles and processes, click here.

How far out in the planning horizon does NTTG look?

NTTG's comprehensive transmission planning process includes biennial preparation of a long-term (10 year) bulk transmission expansion plan, with consideration of up to a twenty year planning horizon.

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