MISO discusses future of the electricity grid with Midwest governors

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — MISO President and CEO John R. Bear highlighted the numerous ways in which MISO is working to address issues and changes impacting the electric industry during an address to the Midwest Governors Association (MGA) today in St. Paul, Minn.

Bear was joined by Clair J. Moeller, MISO’s vice president of transmission asset management, as guests in a two-day energy summit, “Realizing the Economic and Transmission Benefits of a Low-Cost and Reliable Electricity Grid,” co-hosted by MGA, the Minnesota Governor’s Office, the Organization of MISO States and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“As the electric industry undergoes a myriad of changes, MISO is thankful for the opportunity to work with the Midwest Governors Association in creating a stronger Midwest through a reliable energy grid,” said MISO President and CEO John R. Bear. “We are committed to implementing solutions that ultimately benefit consumers.”

One of the most important forces of change to the region is the implementation of the Mercury and Air Toxins Standard (MATS), the compliance of which will require more than 70 percent of the region’s coal units to retrofit or retire – approximately 242 generation units with a capacity of 47 gigawatts (GW), or the equivalent capacity of every electric generation unit in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa combined. In order to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance requirements, MISO is working with its asset owners to facilitate the flow of information across the entire Midwest.

During his address, Bear also discussed MISO’s collaboration with policy makers, regulators, asset owners and other interested parties in the past several years to better plan the region’s infrastructure and transition to the next generation of infrastructure resources. One such development to add value to the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry is MISO’s network of synchrophasors, advanced devices which can reduce the risk for system outages by quickly measuring the state of the electric grid.

Additionally, Moeller participated in a panel discussion, “Cross Regional Collaboration and the Future View of RTOs – What It Means for Reliability, Economic Development and the Public Good,” and further described MISO’s commitment to regional and interregional transmission planning and collaboration to generate the best results for consumers.

Following the energy summit tomorrow, MISO will invite state environmental regulators and state energy officers from the MISO footprint to attend a briefing at the St. Paul Control Center on the new and proposed U.S. EPA regulations’ impacts on the Midwest’s electricity grid.