May 15, 2002 -- The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) predicted that generating resources will meet projected demand for power in North America this summer, but that it would be watching for transmission congestion in southwestern Connecticut and southern Nevada.
NERC released its 2002 Summer Assessment on Wednesday.
"We expect that generating resources will be adequate to meet projected demand for electricity in North America this summer," said Michehl R. Gent, President and CEO of NERC.
"Capacity margins have increased substantially in several areas of North America during the past year," he added, "and although much of North America is experiencing drought conditions, we do not expect this to materially impact reliability."
The report states that transmission systems in North America are expected to perform reliably, although transmission congestion will occur again this summer. The report also notes that fuel supplies, inventories and deliveries are expected to be adequate this summer.
The assessment points out two areas of concern: southwestern Connecticut and southern Nevada. Local transmission limitations into southwestern Connecticut and tight capacity margins in southern Nevada make these areas particularly susceptible to reliability problems associated with any delays in the installation of new resources, lower than expected generating unit availability or extreme weather.
The report notes that California, New York City and Long Island are expected to have adequate capacity margins throughout the summer. The balance between capacity and demand in California has improved since last summer due to decreases in the demand for electricity and the addition of about 5,000 MW of new generating resources in the area.
The addition of about 450 MW of new resources in New York City and Long Island should enable these areas to reliably serve their firm demands and meet their required levels of internal generation.
Summer Assessment Key Findings:
Generating Resources. Adequate to meet projected electricity demands throughout North America.
Transmission. Systems will perform reliably this summer; congestion will continue, however, and may result in the use of NERC Transmission Loading Relief procedures.
• projections less than 0.5% above the projections for 2001.
• relatively flat growth reflects slowdown in the North American economy.
Fuel Supplies. Inventories and deliveries are expected to be adequate this summer.
Hydro. Drought conditions are not expected to cause reliability problems.
Nevada. Tight capacity in southern Nevada; depending on purchases to meet demands.
Connecticut. Transmission constraints in southwest Connecticut; local transmission inadequate to serve demand; emergency measures taken by ISO-NE to minimize potential problems; some firm demand may have to be curtailed under certain conditions.
New York. Area expects about 450 MW of new capacity additions; both New York City and Long Island are projected to meet their internal supply requirements.
California. Expects to see improved resource adequacy compared to last summer. California demand is projected to be about 3,300 MW less than last year, while new resources of about 5,000 MW have been added.
Ontario, Canada Available generating capacity is expected to be adequate, although projected capacity margins are around 10%.
Critical Infrastructure Protection. In its role of the Information Sharing and Analysis Center for the electricity sector, NERC will continue to work with federal, state, provincial and local organizations and its Regions to monitor the activities under way to protect the physical and cyber elements that comprise the infrastructure of the North American electric systems.
Exceptions. Even in areas where electricity supplies are expected to be adequate, unanticipated equipment problems and extreme weather can combine to produce electricity demands that exceed available generation and transmission capacity.
To download the report, go to: http://www.nerc.com/~filez/rasreports.html.
The NERC web site also includes information about NERC reliability standards, publications, technical committees and related programs and activities.
NERC is a not-for-profit company formed as a result of the Northeast blackout in 1965 to promote the reliability of the bulk electric systems that serve North America. It works with all segments of the electric industry as well as customers to "keep the lights on" by developing and encouraging compliance with rules for the reliable operation of these systems.
NERC comprises ten Regional Reliability Councils that account for virtually all the electricity supplied in the United States, Canada and a portion of Baja California Norte, Mexico.
NERC's home page is http://www.nerc.com.