There was no shortage of industry information and entertainment during the Gulf Coast Association 3rd Annual MISO South Regional Conference held Feb. 18 in New Orleans. Dr. Loren Scott got everyone started with laughs and a lesson or two about the price of oil, and even some humorous empirical evidence of the use of fossil fuel and global warming. The interactions and impacts of shale oil and gas were fascinating and extremely informative considering the multitude of breakeven points and the fluctuation in the production levels in the Middle East. The U.S desire to export has a new and significant impact on where the industry will go from today. And while the gas industry’s major players are responding with reductions to their capital expenditures and jobs, the petrochemical industry and LNG exporters are seeing a comeback on the horizon.
It’s not a regional conference without regional coordination
Commissioners Lambert Boissiere from Louisiana, Ken Anderson from Texas and Ted Thomas from Arkansas as well as Pearlina Thomas, Chief of the New Orleans Utilities Regulatory Office carried the torch. Commissioner Thomas opened up firmly advocating for regional coordination and to eliminate any barriers to resolving system agreement issues. Commissioner Anderson followed up the conversation with his vision for regional cooperation such as what occurred during the SPP dispute settlement. Anderson also mentioned being open to more transfer capacity between the south and north, and his desire for everyone to benefit from MISO.
And, there is always time for the Clean Power Plan (CPP)
Commissioner Anderson noted that Texas remains focused on the litigation concerning the CPP and that Texas does not get credit for the tremendous amount of work and effort that has occurred. Anderson would prefer to allow the markets to work out this issue. He went on to say that MISO and the other RTOs should remain focused on the evaluation of system reliability. Commissioner Thomas commented that Arkansas will to continue to prepare, study, and utilize their expertise on CPP and that the work they have done to this point on the CPP will ultimately benefit all.
MISO CEO, John Bear, Delivers the Key Note
The highlight for us of course was John Bear’s presentation of his vision for MISO and the organization’s focus on creating value and serving customers as reliably and efficiently as possible. Mr. Bear noted three specific areas of focus for MISO; (1) market and grid positioning, (2) preserve and grow the membership and (3) provide independent thought leadership. Each of the focus areas includes multiple strategic initiatives with varied priorities. Priorities of note included the EPA rule implementation, electric & gas harmonization, seams optimization, grid technology advancement and infrastructure development enablement.
Once again, the GCPA has completely outdone themselves. The 3rd Annual MISO South Regional Conference was exceptional and of the highest professionalism. Presentations from all of the presenters are available from the GCPA website for all interested participants.
Without a doubt, the excellent level of attendance and participation bolsters the desire and need for us to continue to come together and share information, thoughts and developments in the industry and within the MISO South Region.