MISO adds electricity storage to market portfolio

The American Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) has included electricity storage in its market portfolio for the first time.

MISO is responsible for overseeing the electric grid and associated wholesale markets (in other words, the generation and transmission of high-voltage electricity) in all or part of the 15 US states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

The regional transmission organization (RTO) and independent system operator (ISO) began including energy storage in the market resource mix for the first time earlier this month, officially announcing it on Tuesday (Sep 6 ).

Energy storage is a resource that can support grid resiliency and reliability as MISO transitions to remove fossil fuel generation from the grid and replace it with cleaner resources like wind and solar PV, he said. the network operator.

“We are excited to see this space grow with increased member interest and engagement, particularly as we continue to adapt to the accelerating resource transition. With the introduction of Electric Storage Resources to our market portfolio, we will continue to position the MISO network and its members for the ‘Network of the Future,’” said MISO Executive Director of System Operations Jessica Lucas.

Electricity storage will now be able to participate in the MISO Energy and Operating Reserves Market as supply and demand resources.

While none of the regions covered by MISO are particularly known for their adoption of energy storage to date, some companies active in the US battery storage market have spoken with Energy storage.news about the great potential they see for technology in the regions it covers.

For example, in a 2021 interview with this site, Jeff Bishop, CEO of energy storage developer Key Capture Energy, and his colleague Taylor Quarles mentioned the MISO region as one of the exciting emerging markets in the US..

Quarles said the company had 600MW of projects under development at MISO at the time of the interview. Bishop explained that the MISO territory does not have shale gas reserves underground for the most part, unlike another large network territory, PJM Interconnection.

With states covered by MISO, including states like Arkansas, Indiana, and the Dakotas, the market has historically been coal-based, along with some nuclear generation. Those are baseload power sources that can’t ramp up and down quickly, meaning as more wind and solar PV come into the system, the system can’t balance itself by burning natural gas like it does in parts of PJM.

In contrast, electricity storage resources can respond rapidly to signals from the grid requesting energy to be injected into the grid or energy to be withdrawn as they are charged or discharged, respectively. That means storage can be effective at reducing peak demand, managing network congestion, or providing backup power in the event of major outages.

Of course, coal is being phased out in almost every US state for economic, environmental, and climate-related reasons, including MISO, leaving a huge opportunity for batteries to fill capacity gaps alongside with renewable energy.

Trading MISO price signals

Also in 2021, Sam Huntington, an analyst at IHS Markit, told the site that traditionally coal-focused grid regions in the US Midwest, where much of MISO is located, were Already at that time there was a lot of planned activity by utilities and developers to implement grid-scale energy storage.

That was partly due to coal retirements, but it also had a lot to do with improving economics for energy storage and more solar storage technologies. Huntington noted, however, that with much of the Midwest “oversupplied” with power capacity, activity might not take off until coal withdrawals really take hold later this decade.

At the time, this oversupply meant that MISO had not implemented strong price signals for firm energy resources, such as four-hour battery storage systems.

That is now changing. In April, Energy storage.news reported, for example, that a 131 MW, four-hour battery energy storage system (BESS) project (524 MWh) had been proposed by developer Open Road Renewables in Indiana.

Open Road Renewables President Cyrus Tashakkori said MISO capacity auctions for 2022-2023 had revealed an 8 GW shortfall in capacity resources in the core region of the transmission area. This led to high compensation prices for the resources that ensure grid reliability, prompting the developer and others to propose large-scale battery projects to solve those reliability issues.

MISO has adopted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) definition of an electrical storage resource (ESR): “…a resource capable of receiving electrical energy from the grid and storing it for subsequent injection of electricity into the grid, regardless of where the resource is located in the electrical system”.

That also includes non-battery technologies like pumped hydro storage or compressed air. MISO noted that in the current state of the game, with limited storage resources active on the system, the impact of the changes will be limited.

However, in light of the growing penetration of renewables and the increased adoption of distributed energy resources (DER), the changes position the system operator well to handle increased deployment and participation of energy storage in its area of ​​operation. service in the next decade.

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