The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) recently released its 2022 State of Reliability report, which examines power system performance in calendar year 2021 and evaluates reliability performance trends. The 2022 report identified six key findings regarding power system performance that are summarized as follows:
- The February 2021 freezing weather event demonstrated that a sizable portion of the generation fleet in the south-central portion of the US-impacted areas were unable to supply power during challenging cold weather.
- Electricity and natural gas interdependencies are no longer emerging risks but risks that require immediate attention, including the near-term implementation of weather-related reliability risk mitigation strategies.
- Severe weather challenged the grid, putting the need for improved resilience into focus.
- Geopolitical events, new vulnerabilities, new and changing technologies and increasingly bold cyber criminals and hacktivists presented serious challenges to the reliability of the power system.
- Large geographic areas have become significantly dependent upon intermittent and variable renewable generating resources to meet peak loads. Multiple instances of the loss of solar resources in Texas and California in 2021 confirm that unaddressed inverter-based resources issues increase reliability-related risk.
- Additional types of data are needed to enable a more complete analysis of Adequate Level of Reliability (ALR) performance objectives.
To address these observations, NERC’s report proposed taking the following actions:
- NERC and its six regional organizations are actively implementing the recommendations in the FERC, NERC, and Regional Entity Staff Report: The February 2021 Cold Weather Outages in Texas and the South-Central United States.
- NERC and its six regional organizations are actively encouraging registered entities to conduct studies that model plausible and extreme natural gas disruptions set forth in NERC’s Reliability Guideline: Fuel Assurance and Fuel-related Reliability Risks.
- NERC and its six regional organizations are expanding and further refining the resilience and restoration analysis needed to mitigate reliability risks by examining generation losses and load losses, as well as improving the linkage between power system equipment outages and weather data.
- Industry is developing security-informed institutional practices that leverage security frameworks and activities to protect and secure the operational and organizational environment.
- NERC, its six regional entities and the broader industry are implementing the recommendations set forth in the Odessa Disturbance Report and the 2021 CAISO Solar PV Disturbance Report that include incorporating electromagnetic transient modeling requirements into reliability standards and developing a comprehensive ride-through requirements focused specifically on generator protections and controls.
- NERC is identifying appropriate approaches for measuring Adequate Level of Reliability (ALR) performance objectives where performance gaps have been identified.
NERC noted that the February 2021 Texas and South-Central United States cold weather event was the largest controlled load shed event in North American history.
Utilities are encouraged to review the 2022 State of Reliability Report and the associated reference documents in detail to identify those recommendations which will impact your respective systems. TRC subject matter experts can supplement your company’s planning and operations personnel as you examine, evaluate, plan, and operate your power systems. TRC has performed more than 600 transmission and distribution planning studies to analyze the power system interconnection impact of wind, solar, storage, combined-cycle gas, biomass fueled, and hydro-electric generators. Additionally, TRC’s systems studies experts have can support the transient analysis studies being demanded by the integration of inverter-based resources.
- NERC 2022 State of Reliability Report
- TRC Power System Studies Solutions
- TRC Transmission Engineering Services
- TRC NERC Compliance Services
Your Trusted Regulatory Advisor
TRC closely follows the national and state regulatory trends in all regions of North America. Our approach to power system engineering, planning, design, construction and commissioning testing balances solutions that incorporate appropriate industry trends, mandatory standard requirements, regulatory guidance, compliance obligations, best practices, operational goals and budgets. With expertise in both power system planning and operations, TRC supports public utilities and private energy providers in their effort to stay ahead of the curve and to meet regulatory requirements as they evolve.
This regulatory update is provided as a service to TRC’s utility clients, helping to keep you informed of forward-looking issues that will impact your company’s electric system reliability risks along with related topics regarding regulatory developments to help you achieve your company’s business goals.