PJM, MISO were the most coal-heavy organized markets through 2014

The PJM Interconnection (PJM), Mid-Continent ISO (MISO), and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) report the highest shares of coal-fired generating capacity among Regional Transmission Operators (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) through 2014, according to a recent report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC released a report on Aug. 12 that examines the performance and benefits of RTOs and ISOs. The initiative arose in response to a 2008 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recommending that FERC do more to track the performance and benefits of RTO and ISO markets.

 Coal-fired generators accounted for the largest share of installed capacity in PJM from 2010-2014, ranging from a high of 42% in 2011 to a low of 39.7% in 2014. MISO reports that coal-fired generating capacity represented the largest share of generating capacity from 2010-2012, prior to the integration of MISO-South.

The share of natural gas and oil-fired capacity in MISO increased significantly, from 31.3% in 2010 to 41.7% in 2014, as a number of utilities in the Gulf Coast region joined MISO in December, 2013.

In the process, MISO transitioned from a majority coal-fired capacity mix in 2010 to a majority natural gas and oil-fired capacity mix in 2014. The New York ISO (NYISO) also reported that the New York Control Area has become increasingly dependent on natural gas and dual-fuel generating units, although the share of natural gas and oil-fired generation increased modestly in NYISO, from 60.7% in 2010 to 61.2% in 2014.

Among RTOs and ISOs, the California ISO (CAISO) and NYISO report the largest shares of renewables and hydroelectric generating capacity.

As of 2014, renewable and hydroelectric generators represented 36.5% of capacity in CAISO and 20.2% of capacity in NYISO. The largest relative increase occurred in SPP, where the share of renewable and hydroelectric capacity increased from 6.9% in 2010 to 12.6% in 2014.

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.