The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday conditionally approved the enhanced resource adequacy proposal submitted by the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), which it says will provide even greater market and reliability benefits to MISO’s members and the customers they serve. The enhanced mechanisms become effective October 1, 2012, for the Planning Year that begins on June 1, 2013.

MISO and its stakeholders developed modifications to MISO’s resource adequacy mechanisms during a year-long process. MISO President and CEO John R. Bear said, "Through the efforts of our stakeholders and our staff, we are working toward ensuring greater reliability. These enhancements also have the potential added benefit of promoting greater capacity portability and market efficiency across adjoining markets."

The enhanced resource adequacy proposal, filed on July 20, 2011, includes market mechanisms to address zonal deliverability of resources “while taking into account the physical limitations of the transmission system.” These mechanisms are expected to improve reliability in a cost-efficient manner. In addition, MISO’s procedures include a permanent approach to demand response and behind-the-meter generation participation.

"Our enhanced resource adequacy procedures will prove particularly helpful in managing reliability as the prospect of aging coal plant retirements nears," said Richard Doying, vice president of operations. "In addition, these enhancements preserve existing benefits from state planning processes while providing market mechanisms to ensure we have the right resources located in the right areas and available in the most economical manner. MISO looks forward to working with the FERC and will submit a compliance filing by July 11, 2012. We thank them for taking into consideration how this construct reflects the unique characteristics of our region."

That “region” is about to get larger.

MISO is responsible for the operation of, and equal access to high-voltage power lines in 11 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. Membership in the organization is voluntary. Last year New Orleans–based Entergy announced its intention to join the regional transmission organization, a move that is expected to be finalized by the end of this year. In May, Louisiana regulators approved the transfer of control of Entergy’s high-voltage transmission assets in the state to MISO. Arkansas, Texas, and Mississippi have yet to approve the transfer. Entergy expects membership in MISO to save up to $1.4 billion for its customers over a decade as a result of being part of a larger trading market.

For details of the order and arguments provided for and against the MISO proposal, see the FERC Order in Docket ER11-4082.

Sources: POWERnews, MISO, Entergy

—Dr. Gail Reitenbach,
POWER managing editor (@POWERmagazine)