Today’s LiveWire Spotlight evaluates FERC’s latest performance outlook for U.S. energy markets and BPS reliability in the upcoming winter (November 2021 through the following February).  The Commission expects net electricity demand to increase 1% from last winter – driven by lower-than-average temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Midwest.  In addition, 42.4 gigawatts (GW) of new installed capacity is scheduled to land across the U.S. by winter’s end, with 76.2% of the total to be powered by wind and solar.

Variable resource penetration, the global pandemic, and rising expectations of severe weather performance make this winter an unusually volatile time.  A good-sized outage may panic an already anxious public, a scenario that the industry must avoid at all costs.