Load-serving entities and state regulators are taking action to address declining reserve margins, according to a survey conducted by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and the Organization of MISO States.
The latest results of the survey show a 1.7 GW surplus for 2016, primarily due to an increase in resources committed to serving MISO load and a decrease in load forecasts. The 2014 OMS-MISO Survey had projected that the region faced a 2.3 GW shortfall starting in 2016.
The 2015 survey indicates that part of the MISO region will fall below reserve margin requirements in 2016; however, these areas will be able to import needed capacity from neighboring zones to meet these requirements, due to the benefits of membership in a regional transmission organization.
“We appreciate the high level of engagement by the load-serving entities in responding to this year’s survey,” said OMS President and Iowa Utilities Board Member Libby Jacobs. “The improvement in the numbers shows an appropriate response to the needs of the region and we would expect that same level of focus to continue in future years.”
“The results are encouraging. It shows that action is being taken to address an issue of concern for the MISO region,” said Clair Moeller, MISO executive vice president of transmission and technology. “However, it is important to note that more work remains to be done. While the near-term picture has improved, the longer-term forecast requires continued vigilance to ensure there are adequate resources.”
While there are sufficient resources available in 2016, the survey forecasts the potential for resources to fall below the regional reserve margin requirement beginning in 2020. Lowered reserve margins present a new operating reality for MISO members, one that could include the increased likelihood of relying on emergency operation procedures, such as behind the meter generation and demand response.
The OMS-MISO survey provides a snapshot of the region’s long-term resource adequacy at forecasted capacity levels over the next ten years. In MISO, load-serving entities, with appropriate oversight by state regulators, are responsible for ensuring resource adequacy. MISO and OMS developed the survey as a way to provide transparency around long-term resource needs.
The OMS-MISO Survey is made possible through unprecedented collaboration between the stakeholder community, state regulators and MISO staff. Both the 2014 and 2015 surveys had a 99 percent response rate.
“I’d like to thank OMS, and the load serving entities for their leadership on this issue,” continued Moeller. “There are serious challenges facing the region, and the survey is a valuable tool in the process of ensuring reliability for the region. The collaboration with OMS and our load serving members is a vital element of achieving this goal.”