CARMEL, Ind., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MISO's 2012 Summer Assessment concludes sufficient reserves are ready and available to meet the region's peak demand for power this summer. During today's annual Summer Readiness Workshop for stakeholders, MISO reported its findings that demand in the region is expected to peak at 89,867 megawatts (MW) with 114,475 MW of available capacity during the 2012 summer season.
"Our reserve margin of 27.4 percent far exceeds our reserve requirement of 16.7 percent. This margin combined with our talented system operators and those of our members will help ensure reliable grid operations throughout the summer," said Richard Doying, vice president of operations for MISO.
MISO predicted the region could experience low water levels as it did in 2006 because of the drier than average 2011-2012 winter season. However, MISO's findings do not reveal low water levels or possible drought conditions as causes for concern in 2012.
"We are well positioned to have plenty of power available to meet the high summer demand given typical weather uncertainties and pending environmental regulations," Doying said.
To prepare for peak summer conditions, MISO began a series of readiness drills last week with more than 300 system operators from MISO's membership and neighboring entities. During the drills, MISO and its members simulate emergency operating procedures and processes. The drills will run every week for the next five weeks. In addition, MISO is reviewing its emergency communications processes with regulatory commissions and state emergency contacts as part of its summer preparedness activities.
Although MISO does not anticipate reliability-related impacts this summer from compliance with recent environmental regulations, the grid operator is concerned about future year impacts as member companies plan outages to meet the deadlines of the new requirements. In particular, retrofitting or replacing coal and oil-fired generation to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's more stringent air quality rule may require generation owners in the MISO footprint to request to take up to 61 gigawatts of generation out of service in a short time frame. Simultaneous outages of this magnitude would cause the region's resource adequacy requirements to drop to unacceptable levels, threatening reliability, particularly during the typically high-energy demands of a summer season.
MISO is continuing work on these issues to address potential future year reliability concerns. MISO's next workshop on gas/electricity infrastructure interdependencies takes place May 10, 2012 in Carmel, IN.
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MISO ensures reliable operation of, and equal access to high-voltage power lines in 11 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. MISO manages one of the world's largest energy markets, with more than $23.6 billion in gross market energy transactions annually. MISO was approved as the nation's first regional transmission organization in 2001. The non-profit 501(C)(4) organization is governed by an independent Board of Directors and is headquartered in Carmel, Ind., with operations centers in Carmel and St. Paul, Minn. Membership is voluntary.