MISO report concludes upwards of 50% renewables is achievable with coordinated stakeholder action

Yesterday, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) published the Renewable Integration Impact Assessment (RIIA), an analysis that evaluates increasing amounts of wind and solar resources within the MISO grid and the broader bulk electric system. RIIA represents the culmination of more than four years of analysis as well as significant input from stakeholders.

RIIA will inform MISO’s Response to the Reliability Imperative, the broad range of efforts MISO is pursuing to ensure system reliability while we transition to clean energy.

Subscribe to POWERGRID’s free, weekly newsletter for more stories like this

MISO developed the RIIA as an informational study to identify complexity inflection points associated with increasing levels of renewable integration. The analysis found that significantly higher levels of renewables penetration can be achieved, but it will require planning and considerable regional cooperation to cost-effectively accomplish.  

Here’s an excerpt from the Executive Summary of the report:

While grid operators have managed uncertainty for decades, MISO is preparing for an unprecedented pace of change. MISO, members, regulators, and other entities responsible for system reliability all have an obligation to work together to address these challenges. MISO calls this shared responsibility the Reliability Imperative, which is broken into four categories Market Redefinition, Long Range Transmission Planning (LRTP), Operations of the Future, and Market System Enhancements. RIIA is a key part of understanding the risks ahead.

“MISO, our members and the entire industry are poised on the precipice of great change as we are being asked to rapidly integrate far more renewable resources,” said MISO’s President and Chief Operating Officer Clair Moeller in a press release about the RIIA. “Given our regional Reliability Imperative, MISO must act quickly, deliberately and collaboratively to ensure that the planning, markets, operations and systems keep pace with the changes. We can achieve great change together.”

RIIA identifies potential future system weak points that would need to be addressed as renewables increase. These results are meant to assist stakeholders as they weigh plans and policies that will further change the future grid’s resource mix.

More from the Executive Summary:

Beyond 30%, transformative thinking and coordinated action between MISO and its members are required to prepare for the significant challenges that arise (Figure 1, below). It is important to note that renewable growth does not happen uniformly across the MISO footprint, or the broader interconnected system. Growth occurs fastest in areas with high quality wind and solar resources, available transmission capacity, and favorable regulatory environments. For example, when MISO reaches 30% renewable energy penetration, some Local Resource Zones are likely to be approaching 100% renewable energy penetration. Locations which experience the fastest renewable growth experience challenges first, but beyond 30% renewable penetration the system as a whole facing new and shifting risks rather than simply local issues.

MISO is planning to host a final RIIA workshop on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 from 2 – 4 pm ET to provide an overview of the report and discuss its conclusions.

“We believe it will take transformational change, including redefined markets and planning processes, to enable efficient and reliable operations in the future,” said MISO’s EVP Market & Grid Strategies Richard Doying.  

“Coordinated action amongst all stakeholders will be necessary to facilitate participants’ decarbonization goals and plans for higher levels of renewable generation.”

Read more about MISO

Previous articleThe Future of Distribution Grids – Two Visions, A World Apart
Next articleTwelve states commit to new and improved format for electricity planning
Jennifer Runyon
Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference and expo for the transmission and distribution industry. In her role, she works in close cooperation with a large team of committed industry executives to shape the educational content for the event. She also helps assemble the renewable energy content for POWERGEN and helped launch the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, a co-located event at HYDROVISION International. She has traveled to Germany to see onshore and offshore wind installations; Iceland to see geothermal energy in action; and France to see cutting-edge smart grids. In the U.S. she has visited and reported about bioenergy power plants in Florida, both large-scale and small-scale hydropower; and multiple wind farms, solar PV, and CSP installations. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, RenewableEnergyWorld.com was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.

No posts to display