MISO puts value of benefits to customers at $2.6bn in 2015

Pointing to enhanced reliability and more efficient use of transmission and generation assets in 2015, the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) on March 9 said it provided $2.6bn in benefits to its customers last year.

Total benefits in 2015 were more than $2.6bn, but that figure is the result of subtracting MISO’s operating costs of $267m from total benefits, a MISO spokesperson told TransmissionHub March 9.

MISO expects administrative costs to remain relatively flat and to represent small figures compared with the overall benefits of the regional transmission organization (RTO), MISO said in a March 9 presentation on its annual value proposition study.

In 2014, MISO provided $2.7bn in benefits to the region, the grid operator said last year in its value proposition study.

From 2007 through 2015, the MISO region realized $12.2bn and $16.8bn in savings, according to MISO.

The value proposition study of MISO breaks the RTO’s business model into different categories and calculates a dollar value of benefits in each category. The largest category of benefits – listed between $1.28bn and $1.95bn in 2015 – is termed “footprint diversity,” with MISO explaining that its large market allows for a decrease in regional planning reserve margins, delaying the need to construct new generation capacity.

Other categories include enhanced reliability, with MISO measuring transmission system availability and accounting for the costs of outages in the study, which said outage data shows that RTO’s serve load more reliably than non-RTO regions. The enhanced reliability category produced benefits between $145m and $217m in 2015, according to the study.

The other categories of benefits are Dispatch of Energy, the Regulation market, Spinning Reserves, Wind Integration, Compliance with NERC and FERC rules, Generator Availability and Demand Response.

MISO’s wholesale market improved power plant availability by 1.5% in 2015, delaying the need to build 1,694 MW of new generation capacity and producing benefits between $213m and $263m, the study said.

With significant changes taking place in the power industry, MISO’s role has become more valuable in helping members navigate the impact of environmental regulations, coordinate with neighboring systems and develop new products and services to adjust to new power grid dynamics, MISO said in a March 9 statement.

“By centrally managing the transmission system as a large region, MISO is able to deliver reliable service and provide billions in economic value,” John Bear, president and CEO of MISO, said in the statement.

“We will continue to protect and expand the value we provide, particularly in light of new regulations and industry forces,” Bear said.