This past week has focused a lot on Texas' blackout and response to the polar vortex, Uri. There were also considerable problems in MISO South that are probably going to get ignored (except from MISO South customers, and regulators). So let's talk about it. Thread 1/8-
During Polar Vortex '21, aka, Uri...
MISO was importing (-) a lot of power from PJM (MIDA) almost 10GW, and also exporting (+) a lot of power to SPP (CENT) to keep the lights on, almost 5GW. 2/8… Image
SPP (CENT) was also sending its max 831 MW of power into Texas nearly all last week. 3/8 Image
TVA (TEN) began exporting (+) lots of power to MISO (MIDW) around Feb. 15 (Monday). As the storm moved eastward, exports turned to imports. Unclear: Was power moving from TVA > MISO North (better connections), or MISO South (needed it more)? 4/8 Image
Southern Pool (SE) exported (+) some to MISO (MIDW), but sent more power to TVA (TEN) as the storm moved east. Even Southern relied pretty heavily on imports (-) from the Carolinas (CAR). 5/8… Image
Power was flowing and moving from the east coast all the way to Oklahoma/Texas. But down in MISO South (SE TX, LA, MS, AR), power had a hard time getting around...6/8… Image
...and even moving power between Mississippi and Texas. Electricity prices in TX were at least 339x higher than power in MS. In an efficient market, prices should be pretty similar. MS lost money. TX lost power. Everyone loses. 7/8 Image
Transmission expansion improves power flow efficiency, and can help prevent blackouts, while reducing costs. Spend a little, save a lot.… 8/8
I'll also note, MISO South has no wind farms. And the MISO market is radically different from the ERCOT/Texas market. So if you're blaming wind farms or the ERCOT market for problems, you're missing the mark. 9/8

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More from @SimonMahan

17 Feb
What are kilowatts, megawatt hours, and giga...whats?

The US power system uses metric prefixes. The most basic unit of energy is the watt. 1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt (KW). 1,000 kW = 1 megawatt (MW). 1,000 MW = 1 gigawatt (GW).
A kilowatt or megawatt indicates capacity or instant power demand/generation. A kilowatt hour or megawatt hour indicates power usage over time.

A microwave uses 1,000 watts of power.
If it runs for 1 hour, it consumes 1kWh of electricity.

A typical TX house uses 30kWh daily.
Power plants are often rated in megawatts. A typical wind turbine is about 2 MW's, meaning it can generate at max output 2MWh in a single hour, or 48MWh's in a day. Wind farms put together dozens of turbines, up to hundreds of MW's of capacity.
Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
While debate rages over blackout causes (fossil fuels? market design?) few have pointed out transmission expansion planning failures. @aripescoe published this great paper (in January!) explaining why major utilities are hampering transmission planning.…
One aspect of RTO/ISO's is "transmission expansion planning". MISO's process is the MISO Transmission Expansion Plan MTEP. There are many *types* of transmission projects from small to big.
Small projects are 100% paid for by the local utility. Baseline Reliability Projects/"Other"/Age & Condition upgrades. Entergy has argued those projects don't need MISO review/approval. So, they're accepted as-is bottom-up projects.
Read 18 tweets

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