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

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

In the absence of additional new capacity additions and steps to postpone capacity retirements, resource adequacy risks might develop over time and throughout all seasons, according to the grid operator and state authorities.

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:

The grid operator’s state utility regulators are represented by MISO and OMS, which 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.

According to a news release from MISO CEO John Bear, “it is critical that we maintain and strengthen our cooperation with our state regulators to guarantee that the dynamic generating fleet can fulfill the expanding demands throughout our footprint.”

According to previous OMS-MISO reports, the grid operator might not have adequate power supply to satisfy its demands, and the outcomes are comparable.

For the first time, the study presents two outlooks depending on the amount of generation that can start up in the Louisiana–North Dakota MISO region. MISO projects that 2.3 GW of power will come online annually based on a 3-year average from 2020 to 2022. According to a different prognosis made by MISO, 6.1 GW will come online yearly and is based on estimations from interconnection clients that have signed agreements.


Environmental Protection Agency restrictions may hasten the shutdown of generators, which is one of the potential negative risks mentioned in the research. Another is the continued high rate of power plant retirements.

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.

By overstating a resource’s capacity value during high-risk times, the grid operator’s tactics may make MISO more susceptible to reliability issues than they first appear to be.

MISO’s request to revise its certification process to properly account for the relative contributions of various resources to grid dependability during peak times is being reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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