By Renee Davidson – Moeller, Power Market Compliance Services Specialist
NERC Reports Areas of Concern for the Reliability of the North American Bulk Power System (Winter 2022-2023)
NERC warns of potential power Generation and Transmission capacity shortages for 2022-2023 winter period in the North American Bulk Power System (BPS). Despite improvements following the 2021 Winter Storm Uri energy emergencies have not been eliminated. 2022-2023 NERC Winter Assessment (nerc.com)
MISO, NPCC – New England, SERC-East, and Texas RE are listed to be the most vulnerable as indicated in the NERC assessment.
- MISO has reported declining reserves that are a result of slim resource additions. Load shedding may be implemented during cold weather events.
- NPCC – New England expects resources to meet normal peak demand scenarios, but above-normal winter peak load could result in operating mitigations or load shedding in wide-area cold weather events.
- SERC- East is experiencing fuel supply issues and transportation with a continuation of post pandemic personnel shortages. Load shedding risk is low but above normal winter peak load could result in non-firm transfers.
- Texas RE expects resources to meet normal peak demand scenarios but above-normal winter peak load could result in operating mitigations or load shedding under extreme peak demand and outage scenarios studied.
NERC encourages Generators to implement cold weather preparations/preparedness that consider the NERC Cold Weather Preparations for Extreme Weather Events – II Alert that was issued September 12, 2022. NERC also advises Generators to act as early as possible to ensure fuel availability and request environmental waivers if needed. “Careful attention should be paid to periodic fuel surveys that provide early indication of fuel supply risks” the assessment states – NERC WRA (2022-2023 NERC Winter Assessment (nerc.com)
Generator Owners & Generator Operators should review and implement all applicable mitigation efforts identified in the NERC Alert: Cold Weather Preparations for Extreme Weather Events – II” prior to winter seasons. In doing so the severity of risk to the North American BPS will be lessened. NERC Alert R-2022-09-12-01 Cold Weather Events II
“Since the 2021/2022 winter, reserve margins in MISO have fallen by over 5%. Nuclear and coal-fired generation retirements total over 4.2 GW since the prior winter.” – MISO
“The risk of a significant number of generator forced outages in extreme and prolonged cold temperatures continues to threaten reliability where generators and fuel supply infrastructure are not designed or retrofitted for such conditions.” – Texas RE
Winter Reliability Risk Area Summary
“Generator Owners (GO) face additional fuel and supply risk.
Reliable operation of the thermal generating fleet is critical to winter reliability, and assured fuel supplies is an ongoing winter reliability concern. Current domestic and global affairs warrant even greater attention to generator fuel supplies, including natural gas, fuel oil, and coal for the upcoming winter. Inventories of coal and fuel oil in most areas are lower than usual due to a summer of high electricity demand and high natural gas prices that made other fuels more economically advantageous for electricity generation. Low fuel storage levels coupled with a range of potential fuel resupply challenges are creating additional risks for winter regional BPS reliability. Careful attention should be paid to periodic fuel surveys that provide early indication of fuel supply risks.” the assessment states – NERC WRA
(2022-2023 NERC Winter Assessment (nerc.com)