Would buying energy from the grid be better for the climate than MPW’s Powering the Future plan?
It has been suggested that MPW not have any local fossil-fired generation and simply buy more energy “from the grid” to make up the difference. When MPW is “buying from the grid”, it does not mean the energy is carbon free. MPW is part of the MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator), which is an independent, not-for-profit, member-based organization responsible for operating the power grid across 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
42 million people depend on MISO to generate and transmit the right amount of electricity every minute of every day. Similar to MPW, MISO is committed to delivering electricity reliably, dependably, and cost-effectively.
The chart below represents the percentage of total megawatts supplied by the listed resources in the MISO footprint on August 13, 2021. As you can see, MISO’s portfolio continues to include a large percentage of coal and natural gas-fired generation resources (about 75% on this hot, summer day). The percentage of renewable resources in the market has been and will continue to grow in the coming decades. If MPW builds a gas-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, it would actually have a lower carbon emission rate than market purchases because of its high efficiency.