NERC: 2017 Summer Reliability Assessment

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) recent report finds that there are enough resources to meet this summer’s projected peak electricity demand in all areas of the country. Anticipated reserve margins, the amount of expected unused electric generating capacity at the time of peak load, range from slightly less than 15 percent in New England to almost 29 percent in New York.

 Among the report’s findings:

Most assessment areas demonstrate resource adequacy by maintaining sufficient Anticipated Resources to meet their planning Reference Margin Levels for this summer. The Anticipated Reserve Margin for NPCC-New England falls to 14.88 percent, which is below their Reference Margin Level of 15.10 percent for this summer.

“- Relatively large differences between actual and predicted variable energy resource outputs can present operational challenges if sufficient flexible resources(dispatchable) are not available to make up or absorb these differences in outputs. This is especially challenging for systems that have a significant level of capacity with operational constraints that limit their ability to quickly change their output up or down.

“- For the upcoming 2017 summer season, WECC does not anticipate any new reliability issues associated with the Aliso Canyon outage in Southern California; however, natural gas withdrawal capability is still limited in the area as a result of this outage. CAISO continues to coordinate plans with the impacted gas company and neighboring BA and RC to minimize risk to the bulk power system. Additionally, CAISO plans to leverage an abundance of must-run hydro resources this summer to alleviate natural gas constraints in Southern California.

“- The 2017 Summer Reliability Assessment presents no anticipated impacts to reliability on the BPS due to the 2017 solar eclipse.

“- The first known major loss of utility-scale solar resources occurred in California on August 16, 2016, as the result of a transmission system disturbance initiated by a fire induced fault. The solar invertor technology did not operate as expected and failed to provide frequency ride-through capability. This event highlights on-going challenges with the interconnection of invertor based technologies to operate reliably, and additional steps will be taken to inform industry, manufacturers, and planners to ensure they are aware of this risk to the BPS.

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