NERC issues 2002-2011 Reliability Assessment

Oct. 10, 2002 — NERC released its Reliability Assessment 2002-2011 Thursday.

“Electric generating capacity throughout North America will be adequate in the near term to meet customer demands,” says Michehl R. Gent, NERC President and CEO, but he cautions that “transmission system expansion continues to lag generation additions.”

According to the assessment, projected generating capacity margins will vary from region to region; however, NERC does not expect any areas to experience generating capacity shortages.

While power plant developers have announced plans to construct more than 260,000 MW of new generating facilities by 2005, not all of these announced plants will actually be built. Even with some project delays and cancellations, the capacity situation is expected to be adequate, the report concludes.

“Longer-term supply adequacy is more difficult to assess due to shifting trends in the way new generation is planned and built,” Gent said. “Experience tells us, however, that if current trends continue, long-term supply margins should also be adequate,” he added.

The transmission grid is expected to be able to reliably serve projected electricity demand, although heavy transmission loadings and congestion will continue to occur and system limitations are expected to increase in some areas. Transmission system operators and regional reliability coordinators will need to closely coordinate system operations to assure continued reliability of these systems.

The report observes that most transmission construction planned for the next decade is designed to connect new generators or customers to the transmission system. The assessment also points out that many new generating facilities are being built in areas with limited transmission capability and may experience difficulty reaching designated markets.

To download a copy of the 2002-2011 Reliability Assessment, go to

NERC is a not-for-profit company formed as a result of the Northeast blackout in 1965 to promote the reliability of the bulk electric systems that serve North America. NERC works with all segments of the electric industry as well as customers to “keep the lights on” by developing and encouraging compliance with rules for the reliable operation of these systems.

NERC’s membership comprises ten Regional Reliability Councils that account for virtually all of the electricity supplied in the United States, Canada, and a portion of Baja California Norte, Mexico.

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