What a transmission control center looks like

Back in August, I had a chance to visit MISO’s St. Paul region transmission control center, where engineers and analysts monitor and manage the Upper Midwest’s electricity grid 24-7. They wouldn’t let me take pictures, which was too bad because it was a pretty cool sight, with a two-story tall video screen stretching 30 feet wide across the front of the room.

EnergyNOW! reporter Lee Patrick Sullivan must have asked nicer or been more persistent. The program has a video tour posted on its website of MISO’s Carmel, Indiana, control center. It looks bigger but otherwise similar to the St. Paul center I saw.

My visit was to learn about how wind forecasts are used in planning power generation for the hours and days ahead. In the video, Richard Doying, MISO’s vice president of operations, shows the charts they use to monitor wind forecasts and generation and explains how they have to react to inaccurate wind forecasts much like they would for a generator outage. Watch below:

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