By Amanda Durish Cook
MISO will keep a system support resource agreement in MISO South intact for another few months while it awaits completion of an area transmission project.
MISO signed the SSR agreement after Cleco announced in 2016 it would retire Teche Unit 3, a 335-MW natural gas-fired generator in Baldwin, La., on April 1, 2017.
The continued operation of the nearly 50-year-old plant mitigates the risk of a cascading trip and voltage instability on a nearby 138-kV line. The reliability issue is set to be resolved by Cleco and Entergy Louisiana’s Terrebonne-to-Bayou Vista 230-kV joint transmission project, still under construction.
During an annual review of the SSR agreement on Feb. 26, MISO staff said they found no changes in study conditions and could not identify an alternative to the agreement while the region waits for the new line.
Tung Nguyen, of MISO’s system planning department, said the RTO will likely need to extend the SSR from April 1 to about June 30 while the companies finish the line, and it may add provisions for early termination.
“MISO and Cleco will continue negotiation of the renewal SSR agreement,” Nguyen told stakeholders during Tuesday’s conference call.
The Terrebonne-Bayou Vista project was slated to be completed in early 2019, but Cleco and Entergy encountered delays in securing permits to build the line. Nguyen said the RTO doesn’t anticipate any further delays.
FERC last week approved an uncontested settlement setting the payment terms for the SSR (ER19-318).
Under the settlement, Cleco will be paid $1.57 million monthly for April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, and $890,000 per month under a second agreement running through March 31, 2019. Cleco had initially proposed a monthly payment of $1.69 million for the first contract and $981,000 for the second.
Agreeing to the settlement were MISO; Entergy; Louisiana Energy and Power Authority; NRG Power Marketing; GenOn Energy Management; the Louisiana Public Service Commission; and Lafayette Utilities System.