Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at NERC’s 2021 Long-Term Reliability Assessment – their most recent annual evaluation of BPS reliability, adequacy, and security over the ten-year planning horizon.  The assessment identifies five key findings that could substantially change the way Bulk Power System planning and operations are managed in the long-term.

1. Resource adequacy will be threatened in MISO starting in 2024, followed soon after by Ontario and California.
2. The risk of energy deficits and load losses first identified in 2020 using an advanced probabilistic resource adequacy method will persist in WECC and MISO.
3. Extreme weather imperils Texas, California, and the U.S. Northwest as traditional forecasting vastly underestimates demand during wide-area and long-interval events.
4. Frequency response will remain adequate through 2023 even as synchronous inertia declines with rapidly-growing renewable penetration rates.
5. The resource mix change will accelerate as wind, solar, and natural gas make up most of the projected growth – adding to BPS variability and pipeline disruption risk.

NERC’s new emphasis on extreme weather and renewables penetration is reflected in the 2021 Long-Term Reliability Assessment – making it noticeably different than last year’s study.  Another change; little substantive discussion about COVID-19 and cyber security.