MISO has adequate supply to meet winter power demand

The Midcontinent ISO (MISO) foresees sufficient resources to meet electricity demand this winter across the region extending from the Gulf of Mexico to Manitoba, Canada, MISO said Oct. 26.

The total winter demand is expected to peak at 104 GW, based on expectations of a mild winter in the North and Central region of the MISO footprint and a cold winter for the South region. 

MISO is forecasting total available capacity of 146.6 GW across the MISO’s reliability footprint. This total reflects anticipated operating conditions and capacity availability. 

“During extreme weather events, both hot and cold, it is critical that electricity be available. Yet, it is also the time where our infrastructure is most stressed,” said Richard Doying, executive vice president of operations and corporate services. 

“MISO continues to examine how the changing portfolio mix will impact future winter operations,” Doying said. “We will continue to work with stakeholders to examine how we can ensure that reliability is maintained when faced with winter conditions.”

MISO released this forecast at its second annual Winter Readiness Workshop on Oct. 26. The workshop brings together grid operators, utility operations employees, regulators and other stakeholders to review operating procedures and ensure the industry is ready for cold weather.

Several other developments were also discussed at the workshop including the development of gas-electric coordination. As the use of natural gas becomes more prevalent across the MISO footprint, MISO is coordinating with the natural gas pipeline industry and electric generators to manage potential fuel delivery challenges. 

Over the past two winters, this coordination has provided improved intelligence that has been integrated into real-time operations and decision making.

Last year, MISO began a survey of generators to help anticipate fuel delivery challenges and prepare for any potential disruptions in natural gas supplies. MISO is continuing this survey and expects to have results in December 2015.

In addition to the insight gained from the survey, MISO has implemented additional enhancements to assess the causes of winter and fuel-related outages. These types of outages can be widespread during periods of cold weather and are important to track for real-time and after-the-fact analysis.

Additionally, MISO implemented procedures to improve visibility into the natural gas pipeline system. This primarily included enhanced communications with pipeline operators to increase situational awareness for MISO’s operators as they manage the electric grid.  

MISO said that it successfully managed the 2015-2015 winter season. The winter peak load of 106.5 GW was set on Jan. 8. That was 2.6% lower than the 2013-2014 winter peak of 109.3 GW.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.