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MISO hosts annual winter readiness workshop

RTO projects adequate resources for 2018-19 winter season

For Immediate Release

October 29, 2018

Media Contact

Mark Brown

CARMEL, Ind. — The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) on Monday shared with member utilities and stakeholders its winter outlook and readiness plans to meet demand reliably in the upcoming 2018-19 season.

“MISO is increasing focus on lessons learned, operational efficiencies and improved coordination to continue and enhance its track-record of reliability and efficient resource management to serve our members and the region in the upcoming winter season,” Executive Director of Energy Rob Benbow said during MISO’s Oct. 29 Winter Readiness Workshop.

The current outlook shows an adequate amount of resources available to meet winter demand – with total capacity of around 140 gigawatts. The load-serving entities – or local utilities – operating within the MISO region project a winter peak of about 103 gigawatts, with the weather outlook indicating a warmer-than-normal winter for much of the MISO footprint. The regional transmission organization covers an operational footprint across the mid-continent, stretching from Manitoba, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico covering 15 U.S. states. MISO’s all-time winter peak was 109 gigawatts on Jan. 6, 2014.

The Winter Readiness Workshop brings together grid operators, utility employees, regulators and other stakeholders to review forecasts and discuss readiness for a broad range of potential scenarios, including extreme winter weather, outages and other operational challenges.

“While we project ample resources under normal operating conditions, MISO is also prepared to proactively manage potential challenges created by periods of extreme weather, generation and transmission outages and other developments,” Benbow explained. “We continually learn and incorporate lessons from past events to ensure our ability to seamlessly transition to emergency procedures and resources when they are needed.”

Part of MISO’s available capacity is set aside for emergencies. When electricity supply drops below the required reserve levels, MISO’s emergency operating procedures offer a variety of tools to maintain grid stability. These include emergency power purchases, deploying load-modifying or “demand-response” resources and issuing public conservation appeals.

MISO works closely with its members and neighboring grid operators to prepare for all possible scenarios. That work helps ensure local power companies in MISO’s footprint can meet demand in their service areas.

The complete Winter Readiness presentation is available on the MISO website.