At midnight on December 18, 2013, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) successfully integrated four additional regions of the electric grid in the southern United States to their existing footprint, effectively expanding it from Manitoba, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. While this integration will certainly provide benefits to both new and existing members, this transition has also presented certain challenges. Let’s take a look at the changes, the issues that have arisen, and how the ZEMA Suite might be leveraged to solve them.

MISO South                                                                                                              

MISO has integrated with a number of transmission owning companies, balancing authorities and market participants from the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas, to create the “MISO South” region (MISO, see Figure 1). Much like the planned integration of SPP, MISO’s expansion and role as the central balancing authority for the new region will benefit its members by:

  • Offering “$1.4 billion over a 10-year period” in cost-savings through economies of scale and scope (MISO).
  • Increasing the efficiency of commitment and dispatch of load.
  • Increasing the reliability of the region’s transmission services for both old and new MISO members.

The last benefit will be realized partly by incorporating reserve resources from new members with the entire region. For example, Entergy’s reserve margin – the ratio of capacity to demand – is 45%; the reserve margin of the original MISO region was only 19%. By making these backup resources available to the entire region, MISO will raise the reliability of the transmission system and increase the likelihood of other benefits.

MISO Footprint

Figure 1: New MISO footprint (source: MISO Corporate Fact Sheet)

New Data Region

This integration is not without its complications, however. While market participants will certainly realize the advantages of joining MISO, the addition of these transmission companies and utilties will greatly increase the amount of information needing to be captured.

New price hubs have been created in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas with the aim of creating regional commercial points that facilitate the trade of electricity (see Figure 2). Approximately 18,000 miles of transmission lines and associated pricing nodes have also been added, as well as over 200 generators producing electricity for the whole MISO region (MISO). Each of these new entities will be generating data on load and pricing for both day ahead and real time markets. Since this data will come from a multitude of new sources, published in many different formats and at varying intervals, market participants will need a solution like ZEMA to manage all of this new data.

Day Ahead LMP

Figure 2: Pricing for new MISO hubs in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas

The addition of this large region – and its accompanying complications – will increase the amount of data being generated and collected considerably, and will complicate any analysis based on this new information. ZEMA can help. Our software is already collecting, validating and normalizing MISO South’s data in an automated fashion, and has the tools needed to generate analysis and forecasts which can then be integrated with downstream systems.

To learn more about how ZEMA can help you with data collection, analysis and integration, book a demo.