Louisiana regulators to investigate MISO energy warning from last week
- The head of the Louisiana Public Service Commission has called for an investigation into an energy conservation warning from the The Midcontinent ISO (MISO) last week, which advised that cold temperatures were pushing energy demand close to the system's available resources.
- Ultimately, MISO said it was able to supply energy without reliability issues or resorting to blackouts. But PSC Chairman Eric Skrmetta wants more information about the warning, considering there were no known generator outages in the state at the time.
- Last year, MISO officials say they expected to have sufficient generation to meet winter peak demand, and anticipated 142 GW of projected supply will be available to meet an expected peak demand of 103.4 GW. Last Wednesday, however, set a new record for winter peak demand in the ISO's southern region.
A bitter cold snap in Louisiana called for emergency measures among farmers looking to save delicate crops as temperatures fell into the teens. But despite the winter temperatures, a warning from the regional grid operator has state regulators asking for additional information.
PSC chief Skrmetta told The Advocate “there’s no reason in the state of Louisiana for electricity to become short."
MISO's South region saw peak demand of 32.1 GW on Wednesday, close to available capacity and just 500 MW below the region's summer peak. That led to the warning for Thursday morning, which also helped drop peak demand to just below 31 GW.
MISO said its Thursday morning system-wide peak was 101.8 GW. Later in the afternoon, it issued a statement saying it had returned to normal operation as as "conditions across the region continue to improve. The MISO grid remains stable and secure."
MISO's statement said "generation outages also posed challenges for the system operator," but The Advocate reported Skrmetta was unaware of any outages in the state. The grid operator has a projected reserve margin of 28.3% to 37.3%, hinging on a variety of factors that cannot be known in advance, including resource outages, load and limited transmission.
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