Midwest power shortages looming

(Updated—May 6, 2022) The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) over the past week separately expressed concerns about power supply uncertainties in the face of upcoming warmer-than-normal temperatures.

MISO raised an alarm on April 28 when it said that it projects “insufficient firm resources” to cover the summer peak under typical demand and generation outages. It warned: “The summer peak forecast is 124 GW with 119 GW of projected regularly available generation within MISO.”

The independent system operator, which oversees a grid that spans 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba, called for increased non-firm imports as well as potential emergency resources to meet the 2022 summer peak demand, given that warmer temperatures are forecasted throughout its substantial footprint.

Meanwhile, ERCOT this week warned its Texas grid participants of a possible reserve capacity deficiency, owing to an expected demand surge tied with temperatures of above 94F in North Central and South Central Texas. The grid operator issued several updates to a May 3–issued Advanced Action Notice (AAN) this week to notify participants it could seek between 5.2 GW to 3.2 GW from power plants that are planning outages or are already in outages across the region.