By Amanda Durish Cook
MISO’s Steering Committee is looking for ideas on how leaders of stakeholder groups can best oversee spirited discussions while sticking to schedules listed on meeting agendas.
Speaking during a Feb. 20 conference call, Chair Tia Elliott said the committee is seeking near-term solutions for managing conversations during heavily attended public meetings.
More participants are asking more questions following stakeholder meeting presentations, the RTO has found. Among the subjects sparking the interest: proposed new rules to address a growing gap in resource availability and need; a new load forecasting method; studies to determine when renewable integration will become unmanageable; and plans to incorporate storage separately into energy markets and the transmission planning process.
The committee has discussed using the “raised hand” function on the online meeting platform WebEx, as well as having participants send emails directly to the Client Relations Department during the discussions.
Reliability Subcommittee Chair Bill SeDoris said at a recent heavily attended RSC meeting, leaders gave in-person attendees priority to make comments and ask questions while compiling emails of questions to take from phone participants.
“Emails did work, but it was a little clunky,” SeDoris said, noting that the RSC had two stakeholder specialists on hand to handle the high-traffic discussion.
But MISO Stakeholder Relations Specialist Alison Lane said it’s unlikely the RTO can provide two specialists for every meeting.
Lane suggested stakeholders develop a “comment queue” following a presentation, where committee chairs ask those in the room to raise their hands and those over the phone to signal, allowing a specialist to compile an ordered list of stakeholders to call on.
She also said chairs might have to limit stakeholders to “one really good question” apiece instead of allowing a single stakeholder to ask multiple questions. She added that MISO and chairs must anticipate which topics on the agenda will elicit a lengthy discussion and plan accordingly.
Resource Adequacy Subcommittee Chair Chris Plante said stakeholders attending by phone are sometimes forced to interrupt conversations to ask long-awaited questions.
Elliott said the Steering Committee will consider the comment queue suggestion and noted that any process changes wouldn’t likely be memorialized as a rule in the RTO’s Stakeholder Governance Guide.
MISO will also host a March 18 stakeholder training on managing meetings as part of Board of Directors Week in New Orleans. Lane said the session will focus on governance rules and tips on how to successfully facilitate a meeting.
MISO Rebrands Market Roadmap
MISO also told the Steering Committee on Wednesday that it will rebrand its Market Roadmap list of future market improvements as the “Integrated Roadmap,” which will include more research and reporting on industry trends to provide support for the RTO’s reasoning behind and prioritization of proposed changes.
The roadmap will now include research focus areas and an emphasis on changes to accommodate what MISO dubs the “3Ds”: demarginalization, decentralization and digitization of the electric grid. It will also include the annual publication of an insights and strategy report to explain how major trends might affect RTO operations. The first such report will be published in early March, and MISO has also tentatively planned an April 9 stakeholder workshop to discuss the report.
MISO Director of Stakeholder Affairs Joan Soller told the Steering Committee that the new design is meant to be “more inclusive” of topics that span multiple committees.