MISO sees summer demand peak of more than 127 GW

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) issued its 2015 summer assessment May 6, and assured stakeholders there would be ample resources available to meet peak demand — although the reserve margin is getting thinner.

MISO projects demand to peak at 127.3 GW with 23 GW of reserve capacity available, resulting in an 18 percent reserve margin.

While the forecasted reserve margin is still above the reserve margin target of 14.3 percent, MISO reserve margins continue to erode on a year over year basis due to current environmental and macroeconomic pressures. As those margins decrease, the likelihood of needing to rely on emergency operation procedures increases, MISO said in a news release.

“MISO projects adequate power supplies for the upcoming summer demand,” said Todd Ramey, vice president of system operations and market services. “However starting in the next few years, we are seeing a dramatic shift in the resources available to meet demand during the hottest days of the year. MISO will continue to study the challenges that dwindling reserve margins present, and work with stakeholders to prioritize issues and develop potential solutions that ensure reliability across the MISO region, both in the near term and future years.”

In addition to forecasting available capacity, MISO continues to work with member companies to ensure that operators are ready for the hot days of summer.  This includes holding six sessions to test operating and communications protocols and review emergency operating procedures so reliability is maintained this summer. Additionally, stakeholders participate in summer and winter readiness workshops to ensure the region is ready for extreme weather.

The 110-page document issued by MISO said the coming summer is forecasted to be hotter than normal, with near-normal precipitation.

The hottest periods are forecasted to be in early June, mid- to late July, and mid- to late August for the Great Lakes region with increased hurricane risks to the Gulf Coast region.

When it comes to transmission reliability, MISO did a comprehensive steady state analysis; voltage stability analysis; reactive reserves analysis; transfer analysis and phase angle difference analysis.

The report also looks at the summer natural gas supply. The current level is 692 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 145 Bcf below the 5-year average, MISO said. Healthy storage injections are expected for the summer season.

MISO control rooms now have increased real-time data on natural gas pipelines, according to the document. More improvements in electric power, natural gas pipeline data are underway within MISO.

MISO has communication protocols in place for capacity emergencies requiring load curtailments; transmission system emergencies or forced transmission outages; and finally severe risk of terror attack, manmade or natural disasters with potential to cause loss of firm load.

MISO ensures reliable operation of, and equal access to, high-voltage power lines in 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. The not-for-profit organization is governed by an independent board of directors and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 22 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.

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