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MISO predicts adequate resources for summer, but retirements tightening supply

The is projecting adequate reserves to meet this summer's expected peak demand of 125.9GW, but power plant retirements across the grid operator's footprint are tighteningthe availability of generation resources.

MISOis required to have a reserve margin of 15.2%, but the predicted available resourcesfor the summer will actually give the grid operator a reserve margin of 18.2%. Overall,148.8 GW of capacity is anticipated to be available to meet demand. Todd Ramey,the grid operator's vice president of system operations, said members have workedhard to ensure reliability for the upcoming summer but the many retirements havecreated "a new operating reality" for MISO.

In aMay 10 presentation,MISO explained that seldom used, emergency-only generators may need to be deployedshould conditions put reliability at risk. The summer months are always challengingfor grid operators in the U.S., as customers put pressure on the power grid by crankingup their air conditioning to beat the heat. Coupled with power plant retirementsacross the region, MISO said the need to rely on emergency operating becomes increasinglylikely.

To prepare,MISO is holding six summer readiness drills with its operators, members and marketparticipations to review and test emergency operating procedures and communicationprotocols. Since adding the MISO South region, the grid operator also has to preparefor hurricanes and has convened a hurricane readiness team to revise operating plansas needed.

MISOsaid the summer is expected to be warmer than usual, with normal precipitation.The anticipated above-average temperatures are attributed to the El Nino climateconditions, according to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.