NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: Analysts On Midwest First Electrification Impact Analysis

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    Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Analysts On Midwest First Electrification Impact Analysis

    'Doesn't make sense': Analysts pan omissions in MISO's first electrification impact analysis; MISO planning for transportation, building and industrial electrification raises multiple stakeholder questions

    Herman K. Trabish, July 13, 2021 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Sources say MISO, pushed by stakeholders quoted here, is making slow and steady progress on preparations for electrification.

    Transportation, building and industrial electrification are needed to reduce power system emissions, but are also a threat to system reliability, according to a report from one of the biggest U.S. grid operators.

    The use of clean energy-generated electricity by those sectors will significantly increase and change system load and peaks, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator's (MISO) Electrification Insights, published in April, reported. The level and pace of change remain uncertain, but cost and reliability effects are almost certain to be significant, which makes understanding the impacts critical, the Insights said.

    "It can be very hard to quantify risks from electrification and they're likely far in the future, but we wanted to capture what we know and detail the unknowns," MISO Policy Studies Engineer and Insights lead author Hilary Brown told Utility Dive. "This first major effort shows there will be changes in demand and in seasonal and daily peaks, but we cannot not yet identify when and where the impacts will be."

    With MISO's shift to renewables, electrification will drive an "unprecedented" transition and MISO and its stakeholders need to understand "potential reliability risks" and work "toward solutions," the Insights reported.

    "MISO has a wide variety of stakeholders" and "there is little certainty" about where or how much it will impact the system but it is "already happening faster in some places than MISO planned for," Clean Grid Alliance Executive Director Beth Soholt said. Because of the uncertainty, "least-regrets planning will be needed, and this report seems to be a start."

    An admirable first effort, but with confusing uncertainty and a glaring omission of energy storage and the importance of least regrets strategies is what many state regulators, utilities and power system analysts told Utility Dive they took away from MISO's first insights on the coming transformation to electrificationclick here for more

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