By - Michael Drost

MISO: No shortfall after all

Energize Weekly, June 24, 2015

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) is no longer predicting an energy shortfall next year, and should even have enough supplies to last through 2020, according to its latest survey of the Organization of MISO States.

The survey predicts a minimum 1.7 gigawatt (GW) surplus in 2016, with sufficient zonal surpluses to offset shortfalls through 2019. A previous 2014 survey predicted a 2.3 GW shortfall next year. MISO says the new forecast is a result of reduced load predictions and increased resources committed to serving the MISO load.

“The big change is in the increase of committed resources. There’s also a decrease in the reserve requirement as we continue to refine the calculations on exploiting the diversity of the footprint to minimize everybody’s obligation in reserves,” MISO Executive Vice President Clair Moeller said during a conference call with stakeholders last week. “So going into 2016 we’re feeling very confident that we’re in good shape in terms of sufficient resources.”

Moeller said that while the results are encouraging for the near-term, MISO members should remain vigilant in order to ensure adequate resources long-term.

The survey did predict that part of the MISO region, including areas encompassing Kentucky, Indiana, and Lower Michigan, will experience shortfalls in 2016, however those areas should be able to import needed capacity from neighboring zones due to membership in a regional transmission organization.

“We still have confidence they’ll figure out how to do that,” said Moeller, referring to the work of generation owners, load-serving entities, and regulators in mitigating the chance of energy shortfalls.

While the survey forecasts sufficient resources through 2016, there is the potential for resources to fall below regional reserve margin requirements starting in 2020. MISO says that by this time lowered reserve margins could become a new normal, and that members could start relying on emergency operation procedures such as behind the meter generation and demand response to provide resources.

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