Marc Spitzer, a commissioner for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), recently addressed Midwest Independent System Operator (Midwest ISO) stakeholders, expressing optimism and thanking them for their commitment to wind integration. The meetings gave Midwest ISO stakeholders the opportunity to engage the independent, nonprofit organization's board of directors on specific issues, including the broad topic of wind integration.
‘We made wind integration the prime topic at our meetings this week because wind is an invaluable part of the future in the Midwest,’ says John Bear, president and CEO of the Midwest ISO. ‘In order to realize the full potential of wind, we must all work together to identify how best to manage this source of energy and discuss the challenges.’
Regulators from 13 states in the Midwest region attended the two-day meetings, along with hundreds of stakeholders from the Midwest ISO. The participants engaged board members in conversation regarding specific goals and challenges that members are facing. There was general consensus at the end of the meetings to continue the collaborative process led by the Midwest ISO to resolve wind integration.
The Midwest ISO has 5,100 MW of wind generation today. After the integration of MidAmerican Energy on Sept. 1, this total expected to grow to about 6,600 MW.
There are currently 313 proposed new wind projects representing more than 54,000 MW of generation capacity, more than in any other part of the country. These requests have skyrocketed, primarily due to an influx of proposed wind farms, which are far from the current grid. Estimates to connect these new resources to the grid reach into the billions of dollars and involve many jurisdictions, including both public and private entities.