MISO can’t predict the future, but it can make some educated projections about what the electric system will look like in the coming years. MISO calls these scenarios “Futures,” and they help MISO envision a set of possible outcomes up to 20 years ahead. The scenarios establish a bookended range of economic, policy, and technological possibilities—such as load growth, electrification, decarbonization, renewable energy levels, generator retirements, fuel prices, and generation capital costs.
The Futures hedge uncertainty by utilizing stakeholder information, policy direction, industry trends, and capacity expansion modeling to create the forecasts. Futures are updated with new or changing information.
Originally developed for MTEP, MISO’s Futures are now used in multiple planning projects, including MTEP, LRTP and the Regional Resource Assessment. The scenarios inform components of MISO’s Reliability Imperative so that those in the energy sector can plan with a consistent set of outlooks across transmission, markets, and operations.
Cohorts of Futures are referred to by series. The Series 1 MISO Futures were created in 2019-20, culminating an 18-month collaboration between MISO and stakeholders. This process sought to better align Futures development with the ongoing fleet transformation and to better incorporate the plans of MISO’s members and states, while also creating a range of future scenarios that can be utilized over several years.
The development of Series 1A commenced in Summer 2022, with a focus on refreshing input data while maintaining the number and definition of Futures established in Series 1. Series 1A and subsequent Futures Series will continue to capture transformation within the MISO footprint, reflecting updates and serving as the foundation for forthcoming MISO initiatives. Iterations of Futures are a product of continued collaboration between MISO and its stakeholders.