MISO 101 with Mike Schowalter
Play • 1 hr 21 min

When we hear about the electric grid, it’s common to think of our local electric utility. They’re the ones we pay for our electric service after all, and it’s our utility’s trucks that we see repairing downed electricity lines. But, as explained in our “What’s up with the grid?” blog, the grid is much bigger than any single utility. It is instead a web of utilities, each interconnected with each other in a giant electric transmission and distribution system that covers the entire nation. In our region, an entity called MISO, or the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, holds the role of managing or operating our portion of that transmission and distribution system—our portion of the grid.  

But what exactly is MISO? How and why was it created? Who has a say in its decision-making processes? And how is Fresh Energy involved? Sit down with Fresh Energy’s Mike Schowalter for answers to these questions and more!  


Links referenced and additional resources:  

  • Read our MISO explainer blog post for additional context on MISO.  
  • Curious about Locational Marginal Pricing (LMP)? Check out this map showing real-time prices.  
  • For more context on long-range transmission planning (LRTP), reference this blog post explaining the process.  
  • An example of LRTP is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) recent approval of the big tariff change Mike discusses in this episode. Read more about it. The MISO Board of Directors is slated to approve this first set of projects in July, after which state Public Utilities Commissions (PUCs) will likely kick off their own approval processes.  
  • Get a visual on the coal plants in and serving Minnesota that have retired or have retirement dates. Fresh Energy is using data-based research and policy to set as-soon-as-possible closure dates for coal plants that meet the urgent challenge of our climate crisis while ensuring that utilities, workers, and communities have the time and resources necessary to plan a successful transition. Read more at coalcountdown.org.  
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