MISO planning auction clears 135 GW of resources

Dive Brief:

  • The Midcontinent ISO's fifth annual Planning Resource Auction yielded 135,000 MW of resources for demand and reserves in the 2017-2018 planning year, with all local resource zones in the grid operator's footprint clearing at $1.50/MW per day.
  • The auction’s results reflect new supply and lower load forecasts in the north and central MISO regions, the grid operator said.
  • MISO also said it is continuing to work with states on their resource planning also, specifically mentioning Illinois, where the state last year created zero emission credits (ZEC) to support two Exelon Nuclear plants. 

Dive Insight:

Results from MISO's fifth planning auction are starkly different from last year, a reflection of growing resources and lower anticipated demand. The prices caused the grid operator to indicate its support for planning processes that address difficulties some baseload plants are having.

“The 2017-18 auction results reflect a net regional increase in supply compared to last year’s results,” Richard Doying, executive vice president of MISO operations, said in a statement. “Even as the generation fleet continues to evolve, the level of available resources positions the region well for reliable operations in the coming year.”

MISO said all local resource zones cleared at $1.50/MW per day, "reflecting an adequate availability of resources for the upcoming planning year and the grid’s capability to effectively transfer resources among zones." The auction saw increased demand resources and energy efficiency over the 2016-17 planning year, as well as increases in renewable resources of both wind and solar.

Last year, retirements and capacity exports contributed to higher clearing prices in several zones.  For instance, in 2016 local resource zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 each cleared at $72.00/MW-day.

Grid officials said their long-term focus remains on resource adequacy.

​“Industry forces continue to indicate significant shifts in the fleet,” Doying said. “MISO will continue to address seasonal and locational issues with our stakeholders while ensuring that market signals provide incentives for investment where and when they are needed.”

MISO reiterated its support for state processes focused on resource adequacy planning, specifically noting that in Illinois, the grid operator is "formulating approaches to work with policymakers" on developing a state-based approach to resource requirements. While not explicitly referencing Exelon's massive energy bill designed to keep its struggling nuclear fleet afloat, it appears MISO is planning to assist in those efforts. 

Last year, the Illinois legislature passed the Future Energy Jobs Act, that provided $235 million in annual ZEC payments to Exelon’s Quad Cities and Clinton nuclear plants. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is planning a technical conference May 1-2 to discuss state incentives needed to keep generation online, and how those decisions impact wholesale markets.

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