On April 29, 2016, FERC accepted, subject to condition, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc’s. (“MISO”) proposed revisions to its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”) that authorize MISO to extend or reopen the Day-Ahead Energy and Operating Reserve Market (“Day-Ahead Market”) when necessitated by unanticipated events.

The proposed revisions to section 39.1.1 of the MISO Tariff authorize MISO to extend or reopen the Day-Ahead Market in unanticipated events that:

(1) interfere with MISO’s ability to receive or process bid, offer, or interchange schedule data;
(2)  render bid, offer, or interchange schedule data plainly inaccurate in a manner likely to significantly impede MISO’s ability to deliver a feasible market solution; or
(3) are otherwise likely to have a widespread negative impact on the results of the Day-Ahead Market, adversely threatening or affecting the reliability of market operations or of the transmission system.

In support of its proposed revisions, MISO stated that extending or reopening of the Day-Ahead Market would enable MISO to mitigate the impact of such unanticipated events by ensuring its ability to procure and process bid, offer, and interchange schedule data that accurately reflect the market participant’s intentions.

Wisconsin Electric Power Company (“Wisconsin Electric”) and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (“Wisconsin Public Service”) protested MISO’s filing, arguing that MISO already has a reliability assessment commitment (“RAC”) process that allows it to mitigate the impact of an event that threatens the reliability of the transmission system. The protesters acknowledged, however, that the RAC process is insufficient because it does not allow MISO to de-commit a resource absent emergency conditions. As such, Wisconsin Electric and Wisconsin Public Service requested that FERC restrict MISO’s new authority to extend or reopen the Day-Ahead Market to the limited purpose of de-committing a cleared resource.

In its order granting MISO’s requested authority, FERC rejected Wisconsin Electric’s and Wisconsin Public Service’s proposed limitation. FERC explained that the proposed limitations would eliminate the ability to extend or reopen the Day-Ahead Market in order to address technical issues, which could significantly impact the Day-Ahead Market and lead to reliability risks for both MISO’s markets and transmission system. More generally, FERC concluded that MISO’s proposal “enables MISO to ensure its ability to procure and process bid, offer, and interchange schedule data that are reflective of the market participant’s intentions and the expected system conditions.” However, FERC did direct MISO to make a compliance filing to provide sufficient detail on the type of information that will be posted publicly in MISO’s follow-up communications so that FERC and market participants can discern whether MISO’s authority is being properly exercised. FERC further explained that such postings should include the circumstances and rationale for extending or re-opening the Day-Ahead Market, how long the Day-Ahead Market was extended or reopened, and whether MISO’s action was successful.

A copy of FERC’s order is available here.