NPGA Bobtail

NERC 2023 Long-Term Reliability Assessment Summary

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has recently released its 2023 Long-Term Reliability Assessment. The assessment analyzed the North American Bulk Power System (BPS) and assessed future electricity peak demand and energy needs. The report includes an evaluation of capacity and risk assessment, risk areas, and changing resource mix and reliability implications. Different risk levels in various electric grids throughout the nation were also evaluated. Both MISO and SERC-Central are listed in the “High Risk Areas,” while NPCC, WECC NW & SW, SPP and ERCOTT all fall into the “Elevated Risk” category. The grid areas that are in the “High Risk” category are primarily attributed to demand forecasts increasing faster than the transitioning resource mix is able to grow.

The assessment highlights the fact that the nation is clearly in a “transition” period for its energy sources. However, this transition poses significant threats to grid security, as renewable sources such as wind and solar often fail to prevent electricity shortfalls during inclement weather or peak demand. The assessment recommended the continued inclusion of thermal fuels in order to deliver the necessary supply of electricity under energy-constrained conditions. It should also be noted that electricity peak demand and energy growth forecasts over the 10-year assessment period are higher than at any point in the past decade, which is primarily attributed to electrification and projections for growth in electric vehicles. In short, while the assessment is extensive and weighs varying scenarios with multiple assumptions, it is clear that conventional fuels are necessary for maintaining the grid not only during peaking demand, but during normal demand as well. The inclusion of low-carbon fuels, such as propane, takes strain off of the grid during unexpected peak demand times due to inclement weather, and provides the grid with needed reliability.

For more information, please contact NPGA’s Manager of State Government Affairs, Austin Wicker.