Thursday, January 24, 2019

MISO Focused on Gas-Electric Coordination for Winter

By Michael Brooks

MISO is forecasting a 35% planning reserve margin for the winter and has implemented several changes to improve coordination with pipeline operators and ensure fuel deliveries to its fleet, Todd Ramey, vice president of system operations and market services, told FERC last week.

“We feel very comfortable that we have the resources and processes needed to ensure efficient operations for the coming winter,” Ramey said.

The RTO, which is forecasting a winter peak of 104 GW, is counting on installed capacity of 145 GW. MISO’s resource adequacy has come under scrutiny over the past two years, but concerns have been about meeting its summer peak. (See MISO Survey: No Shortfall Until 2020.)


Ramey said MISO has “new and improved” tools in its control room that increase situational awareness of pipeline conditions. In the past year, the RTO has also been conducting monthly calls with pipeline operators to share outage information, he said.

MISO has also implemented fuel surveys to gain greater awareness of the firmness of fuel deliveries to its gas-fired fleet, Ramey said.


Todd Ramey, MISO © RTO Insider

In its first survey, conducted last year, only 15% of plants that responded had “primary firm” gas delivery, while 40% reported having “interruptible & other” arrangements; 24% of those surveyed did not respond. The RTO’s next survey will be in October, Ramey said.

MISO has also conducted informal fuel storage surveys. During the polar vortex, MISO found that generators’ coal inventories were lower than planned “due to some transportation disruptions,” Ramey said. He said that both inventories and rail supply are back to normal, but that the RTO would continue to keep an eye on them.

In response to a question from Commissioner Colette Honorable about the grid operators’ long-term objectives, Ramey said MISO was focused on working with state commissions as the region transitions from coal to natural gas.

Offer Cap

Ramey also said that MISO would make a filing concerning the $1,000/MWh energy market offer cap in the “next couple months.” He said stakeholders are still unsure about a final solution, but that the filing would at least address the cap for this winter. During the 2014 polar vortex, soaring natural gas prices pushed some generators’ costs over the cap.

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