MISO faces possible capacity shortfall next summer in northern, central regions

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“In the absence of increased new capacity additions and actions to delay capacity retirements, resource adequacy risks could grow over time across all seasons,” the grid operator and state authorities said.

Dive Brief:

  • Starting next summer, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s Northern and Central regions could face a 1 GW to 3.7 GW shortfall while its Southern region has a potential 3 GW to 4 GW surplus, the grid operator and the Organization of MISO States said in an annual survey released Thursday.
  • Overall, MISO faces a 2.7 GW shortfall to a 1.1 GW surplus next summer under two scenarios that have different rates of generation additions, according to the report. By the end of the decade, the potential deficit could grow to 14.4 GW and the surplus could climb to 4.6 GW under the two scenarios, MISO and OMS said.
  • “Resource adequacy risks could grow over time across all seasons, absent increased new capacity additions and actions to delay capacity retirements,” they said.

Dive Insight:

MISO and OMS, which represents state utility regulators in the grid operator’s region, stated that prompt action is required to bring additional capacity online, coordinate resources for new load additions, and perhaps limit the rate of resource retirements.

The CEO of MISO, John Bear, stated in a news release that “it is imperative to maintain and strengthen our collaboration with our state regulators to ensure the evolving generation fleet can meet the growing demands across our footprint.”

These findings align with previous recent OMS-MISO studies suggesting that the grid operator might not have adequate power supply to satisfy its requirements.

In light of how much generation can start up in the MISO footprint, which stretches from Louisiana to North Dakota, the study presents two outlooks for the first time. A MISO forecast based on a three-year average from 2020 to 2022 predicts that 2.3 GW of generation will be added annually. An further prognosis made by MISO anticipates the yearly addition of 6.1 GW, which is based on estimations from interconnection customers that have signed interconnection agreements.

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The research mentions many potential negative concerns, such as the ongoing fast rate of power plant retirements and the possibility of accelerated generator shutdowns due to EPA rules.

Potential downside risks include the continuing rapid pace of power plant retirements, with Environmental Protection Agency regulations possibly accelerating the generator shutdowns, according to the report.

Upsides include new capacity enabled by the easing of: supply chain bottlenecks, permitting constraints and labor shortages as well as market responses to local capacity shortfalls, MISO and OMS said.

The survey found that the largest resource adequacy risks occur in the spring and summer.

MISO said it anticipates strong, long-term load growth driven by data centers, manufacturing, increased cooling demand, electric vehicles and cryptocurrency operations.

The system’s techniques for calculating a resource’s capacity value could overestimate it during high-risk times, the grid operator said, making MISO more susceptible to reliability issues than it would seem.

The request by MISO to revise its certification process is being examined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in order to better account for the many ways in which resources contribute to grid dependability during times of stress.

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