Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, Water Treatment, Wind

NERC issues reliability study

23 October 2008 — Environmental initiatives and transmission shortages are among the most important issues facing electric reliability in North America over the coming 10 years, the √. said in its 2008 Long-Term Reliability Assessment.

While the total miles of transmission additions have increased slightly over the 2007 report, generation additions are projected to significantly outpace new transmission development.

The report also highlighted other key reliability developments, including the improvement of capacity margins, a projected 750 percent growth in wind generation, significant anticipated growth in energy efficiency.

In another key finding, NERC found that protection system mis-operations are causing about 40 percent of North America’s bulk power system outages.

Since 2007, North America’s capacity margins in many regions have seen improvement. However, more resources will be needed to maintain reliable service in Western Canada and the Desert Southwest regions in the future.

According to the report, wind generation has become the primary reported focus of renewable resource development in North America, with some 145,000 MW of new wind resources planned or proposed for the next decade.

Policy and regulations aimed at energy independence, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, seem to be the most significant drivers for development of new renewable resources.

The report also recommended that transmission must be constructed to enable management of both the uncertainty and variability of wind resources.

The total number of transmission circuit-miles is expected to increase by 1,700 in the U.S. and 1,000 in Canada over the next decade.

The report finds that more resources and investment will be essential in maintaining reliable infrastructure as new generation supply is expected to outpace transmission growth by nearly two times.

In addition, many new supply resources are likely to be located remote from demand centers – particularly in the case of wind generation.

Finally, the report states that environmentally driven regulatory issues could have a significant impact on resource adequacy in the U.S.

The U.S. Clean Water Act, the U.S. Clean Air Act, the U.S. Clean Air Interstate Rule and other legislation designed to reduce greenhouse gases were named specifically in the report.