With the increase in Electric Vehicles’ availability in Midwest states, it is time to acknowledge the opportunities for charging EVs at MISO, the regional grid operator. Aggregated EVs can be a distributed energy resource (DER). Therefore, aggregators are ideally positioned to bid EVs into the MISO market. MISO and other grid operators can enable EV prospects by allowing aggregated EVs to participate in the energy markets.
Storage goes into a legacy platform, not a new market platform
It is no secret that MISO is building the next-generation market systems platform in parallel with its existing market platform. FERC has rejected MISO’s request to extend the Electric Storage Resource (ESR) market participation model in the new platform. So, MISO is preparing to integrate ESRs on legacy market systems by June 2022.
MISO markets have plenty of experience with aggregators, mostly from Illinois, from a demand response product perspective. Demand response reduces demand, which is one of the operating modes of an aggregated EV such as Electric School Buses. As the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) recently released report on Order 2222 suggests, 480,000 school buses serve more than 25 million students in the US. Hence, we can expect MISO to see market integration of aggregated electric school buses.
It is important to remember the FERC Order 841 definition of ESR at this stage, which states:
“A resource capable of receiving electric energy from the grid and storing it for later injection of electric energy back to the grid.” FERC also said, “ESRs located on the interstate transmission system, on a distribution system, or behind the meter fall under this definition.” Hence it is clear that aggregated EVs can operate as demand response and ESR at MISO.
MISO lagging in Distributed Energy Resource (DER) penetration in real-time markets
FERC’s broad definition of DER in Order 2222 means many opportunities for distributed resources at MISO. A DER is defined by FERC as “any resource located on the distribution system, any subsystem thereof or behind a customer meter.”
A recent “State of the Market” report from MISO’s market monitor suggests MISO has 13,675 MW of different kinds of planning demand response. Planning DR means programs that participate towards meeting the MISO planning reserve margin. The majority of these DR programs are “Load Modifying Resources (LMRs).” MISO has different kinds of LMRs: behind-the-meter generation LMRs, demand response LMRs, emergency DR LMRs, and energy efficiency LMRs. These multiple market products for planning DR mean aggregated electric school buses have multiple ways to register with the MISO market registration process.
Even though MISO has a large amount of planning DR, MISO has a limited amount of operations DR. These resources, called Demand Response Resource (DRR) Type I and II, are less than 1,000 MW out of 13,675 MW. Operations DR means DR programs that can react to MISO operator signals in real-time. As the AEE report asserts, DERs such as aggregated school buses should have the ability to update their real-time offers in organized markets.
FERC Orders 841 on energy storage and 2222 on DER Aggregation push MISO to interconnect aggregated technologies
While MISO is 12 months away from implementing Order 841 ESR in the market platform, it is 9 months away from filing a compliance plan for Order 2222 on aggregated DER. This timeline means MISO is working with its stakeholders to propose a plan, take stakeholder comments and ultimately file at FERC in April 2022. We don’t know the implementation date for Order 2222 at MISO.
Order 2222 states aggregated EVs, fleets of electric trucks, and electric school buses must first interconnect with electric distribution companies. Once the distribution company studies them for distribution grid impacts, aggregated EVs must seek their state retail authority’s permission to connect to MISO’s transmission grid. Once that state approval is given, based on the desired service, aggregated EVs might have to go through the generator interconnection process for reserving transmission service on the MISO grid. Or they can directly participate in MISO real-time markets.
Interconnecting resources less than 5 MW goes through MISO’s fast-track process. Less than 20 MW falls under Small Generator Interconnection Process, and more than 20 MW are Large Generator Interconnections. While MISO is still discussing interconnection requirements for aggregated DERs and bringing together retail authorities for a workshop, there is concern about interconnections between 5 MW and 20 MW because they fall in that sweet spot between the fast track and small generator interconnection process. The former can take less than 90 days, and the latter could take years for aggregated DERs to interconnect.
In this 3-part blog series, we started the EV journey at MISO by laying out why EV prospects are looking up given Midwest’s electric grid’s uniqueness. We next talked about MISO transmission planning assumptions and how they are looking good for EV prospects. Finally, to wrap up, we covered MISO market prospects for aggregated EV in more depth. See part 1 here. And part 2 here.