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The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) released its annual Summer Reliability Assessment on May 26, 2021, which identifies several areas across the country that have high or elevated risks for energy shortfalls.  The most significant determinations in the assessment are as follows:

  • California is at an elevated risk during normal summer peak demand and at a high risk when above normal demand is widespread in the west. (Note: The Summer Reliability Assessment acknowledges that last August, an extreme heat wave resulted in 10 Western Interconnection Balancing Authorities issuing 18 separate Energy Emergency Alerts, and California’s need to shed firm load on two days. Since then, the California Independent System Operator has engaged in stakeholder initiatives in anticipation of similar reliability challenges this summer - resulting tariff measures that have been approved in FERC Docket Nos. ER21-1536 and ER21-1551, and are pending in ER21-1790).
  • Texas is at an elevated risk during periods of extreme weather, especially due to significant portions of electricity supply coming from wind generation, which requires other resources to be available during times of low wind output.
  • The western region is at an elevated risk during times of peak demand due to increasing demand projections and lower resource capacity available for transfer into stressed areas.
  • The Midwest and New England regions are at an elevated risk during peak demand due to the need for energy transfers from surrounding areas.
  • All other areas are at a low risk of energy shortfalls.

Other risks identified include impacts from potential wildfires and the ongoing pandemic.  The Summer Reliability Assessment also includes recommendations for utilities to consider in planning for the summer season.

The NERC 2021 Summer Reliability Assessment is available here

For more information, please contact Lisa Gast, Sean Neal, Kristen Connolly McCullough, Barry Lawson, Lauren Perkins or Ellen Hill

June 7, 2021