What is MISO?
In the late 1990’s, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued orders that lead to the formation of wholesale electric energy markets operated by regional transmission organizations (RTOs). Since utilities in the Upper Midwest were already heavily interconnected, it made sense for them to form the Midwest Independent System Operator, or MISO (pronounced “mEYE-so”) and receive FERC approval as the nation's first RTO. As more utilities joined, enlarging the MISO footprint, the RTO was renamed the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator.
How Do Utilities Interact with MISO?
The MISO has many responsibilities:
- Provides reliability coordination and regional planning services and sets procedures and rules for transmission services, generation interconnection, maintenance coordination, market monitoring, and dispute resolution.
- Administers the wholesale energy market for utilities in regulated markets, and, in deregulated markets, administers the resell of electricity to residential, business and industrial customers.
- Calculates prices based on bids and offers entered into the market and serves as the clearinghouse of bids from load-serving entities and offers from power generators.
As a registered transmission owner and MISO designated agent for utilities, CMPAS completes the MISO wholesale market settlement process for its municipal utility members and affiliates. The CMPAS Energy Services team interacts with the marketplace through day-ahead and real-time purchases, capacity markets, and ancillary services. CMPAS also makes bilateral purchases for utilities to help them financially hedge bids and offers that vary by location depending on losses and congestion.
The energy market services team at CMPAS navigates compliance with resource adequacy requirements and manages congestion costs by hedging their financial transmission rights and auction revenue rights. CMPAS also participates in stakeholder groups and closely monitors changing and complex MISO tariff rules regarding transmission, capacity, and energy charges.
Three Issues MISO Is Watching in 2017
The MISO Board of Directors is focusing on three timely topics that affect stakeholders:
- Regional Transmission Overlay Study (RTOS)
- Transmission Cost Allocation
- Market System Evaluation
In the 3 Electricity Industry Issues MISO Matters blog post, Kacey George, Digital Strategy Advisor, points out that MISO must consider many unpredictable factors that could impact the future of electricity production and delivery including uncertainty about government rules and regulations, fuel prices, emerging technologies and others.
“As we move through 2017, we remain focused on our strategic objectives; Market and Grid Positioning, Serving and Growing Membership, and Providing Independent Thought Leadership. Doing so enables us to continue to provide reliable, least cost energy and provide increased value to our members,” she said.
Looking to learn more about MISO and how it affects municipal utilities?