An April warning that power companies might run out of power this summer hasn’t come to pass, But the organization that oversees the Midwest’s power grid says those concerns aren’t going away.
The Carmel-based Midcontinent Independent System Operator monitors power generation and transmission in all or part of 15 states and one Canadian province, including nearly all of Indiana. MISO issued its warning when 11 of the 15 states it oversees reported less than peak capacity available.
MISO’s Bob Kuzman says the issue is less one of having enough power, but having a margin for error if a generating plant breaks down. While the Midwest has successfully weathered a scorching hot summer, Kuzman says the nonprofit organization remains concerned that old power plants are closing faster than new ones are coming online.
MISO approved 10-billion dollars in new generating capacity last month, but Kuzman says it can take years for new plants to come online,
Kuzman says forced outages are a last resort, and MISO’s never had to do it. But he warns older plants are more likely to need maintenance, which raises the risk of a shortfall.
Kuzman says MISO doesn’t expect any capacity issues this winter. It’ll review prospects for next summer at its annual planning resource auction next April.
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