MISO to face change, but how much and how quickly is unknown: CEO
While the “magnitude or speed of change” in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s regulatory and market future is unknown, the ISO’s top executive said Tuesday that “we do know it’s going to be different.”
During MISO’s Informational Forum, John Bear, MISO president and CEO, described how drastically MISO’s generation fleet has changed over the past 11 years, with the coal fleet falling from 76% of the total in 2005 to 46% in 2016, while natural gas-fired generation has grown from 7% to 27%.
“Our industry continues to grapple with an uncertain economic future,” Bear said. “The presidential inauguration was Friday. We’re waiting to see what the future holds on a lot of fronts, including carbon regulation. We don’t know precisely the magnitude or speed of change, but we do know it’s going to be different.”
Bear said his staff expects “a lot more intermittency” in the generation fleet. MISO’s wind generation capacity went from virtually nothing in 2005 to 8% in 2016.
MISO has projected that number to grow to 9% in 2031, if no carbon regulations are modeled, but could grow to 15% if carbon regulations target a 25% cut in carbon dioxide emissions or as much as 22% if carbon regulations target a 35% CO2 cut and the rate of technological improvement accelerates.
In a related matter, Jeff Bladen, MISO executive director of market services, reported that MISO set a new wind output record of 13.7 GW on December 7 and set a new record for monthly wind energy supply, at 5.7 TWh.
In other MISO renewables news, Bladen noted that the ISO had its first utility-scale solar farm, at 100 MW, integrated into the system in December at a location outside Minneapolis.