MISO Look-Ahead Tool to improve efficiencies, reduce costs

Following approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), MISO implemented a new Look Ahead Commitment (LAC) Tool this week for its power grid operators which will improve operational efficiencies and reduce the cost of wholesale power.

The LAC Tool more efficiently plans near-term resource commitments in the Real-Time Market. By conservative estimates, the tool is expected to save upwards of $2 million per year to the region, which covers 11 states and Manitoba, Canada.

“This is great news for MISO members and others in our region. We are excited to introduce the LAC tool to help deliver energy more efficiently and reliably.  I am glad FERC recognizes the benefit of the LAC tool to MISO members and their consumers,” said MISO President and CEO John R. Bear.

MISO developed the LAC Tool after extensive analysis of the current process used in real-time for the commitment of resources to produce energy. The tool displays on the control-room operator’s instrument panel, giving the operator access to new operational information.

The “smart-thinking” application will help decision making and provide new ability to take fast actions that will keep power flowing efficiently. MISO’s Independent Market Monitor (IMM) has consistently identified a look-ahead capability as a means of improving the commitment of fast-start resources such as gas turbines.

“MISO members will benefit from operational and market efficiency as result of the Look Ahead Commitment Tool. The current Intra-Day Reliability Assessment Commitment process is less efficient for near real-time resource commitments and often must be done manually. The LAC Tool is a new online process. We will be able to better identify upcoming changes and more efficiently commit resources to meet those needs,” said Richard Doying, vice president of operations.