Electric Supply

The North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) warned that certain regions of North America may face energy shortages during extreme air conditioning demand this summer.

NERC’s 2023 Summer Reliability Assessment, to be released on May 17, revealed that power resources are sufficient for normal summer peak demand. However, if temperatures rise significantly, parts of the US West, Midwest, Texas, Southeast, New England, and Ontario in Canada may experience resource shortfalls.

NERC has become more cautious in its warnings in recent years following rotating outages imposed by power grid operators in California in August 2020 and Texas in February 2021.

In its winter reliability assessment, NERC warned that the Midwest, Texas, and New England, among other parts of the US, could suffer reliability issues due to generator retirements, vulnerability to extreme weather, fuel supply, and natural gas infrastructure limitations.

During Winter Storm Elliott in December 2022, extreme cold caused some energy companies, including the Tennessee Valley Authority and Duke Energy Corp, to impose rotating outages.

Additionally, several power plants in the PJM power grid failed to operate when called upon by the grid operator, resulting in $1.8 billion in penalties currently under review by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

PJM, which covers all or parts of 13 states from Illinois to New Jersey, expects to have enough resources to meet expected peak demand of 156,000 megawatts (MW) this summer, with over 186,000 MW of power capacity available.

However, PJM said it is prepared to take steps to maintain reliability if demand is higher or resources are lower than anticipated.

Overall, North America should have sufficient power resources for the summer, but certain regions may face energy shortfalls if temperatures spike.


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