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MISO could reduce 22.5 GW from summer peak with demand-side management strategy, study says

By: Robert Walton |

  • Demand response, efficiency and distributed resources like rooftop solar can play a significant role in helping the Midcontinent ISO manage its peak demand, particularly on hot summer days, according to new research from Applied Energy Group, RTO Insider reports.
  • By 2038, MISO could use demand-side management strategies to reduce summer peaks by 15% or 22.5 GW, with the largest portion coming from energy efficiency, the group said during a a meeting. More than 11 GW of that would come from efficiency; 7 GW from demand response; and 4 GW from distributed generation. Its findings were apparently commissioned by the grid operator.
  • A January cold snap this year left MISO short on power and turning to imports. For example, the grid operator’s calls demand response calls elicited a delayed reaction in response to the energy shortages.

Estimating savings potential from behind-the-meter resources is particularly difficult, and RTO Insider reports some stakeholders worry that AEG’s estimates could be impossible to verify. But in a conference call last week discussing the report’s preliminary findings, it was clear the potential is significant.

MISO, which operates the grid in all or parts of 15 states and Manitoba in Canada, uses an array of tools to balance the grid and ensure reliability. But in a January had to turn to imports to meet demand when almost 10 GW of capacity was forced offline in the southern region of MISO’s territory.

The grid operator’s independent market monitor has posited that a lack of authority to manage resources played a big part in that problem.  A delayed response to demand response calls limited the resource’s effectiveness, and 9.5 GW of the region’s capacity was in a forced outage. The independent market monitor has now called for additional authorities for the grid operator to manage outages.

Heading into this winter, MISO anticipated 142 GW of projected supply would be available to meet an expected peak demand of 103.4 GW. The grid operator had a projected reserve margin of 28.3% to 37.3%, hinging on a variety of factors.

MISO hit a system-wide peak of 101.8 gigawatts during the January cold snap, and MISO South — including Arkansas, Louisiana, portions of Mississippi and part of East Texas — saw a peak of almost 31 GW.