The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) today announced a new initiative to help secure the ongoing ability to meet electricity demand by better expecting and assessing risks to power supply resources due to extreme weather and other hazards. The initiative is designed to address emerging resource adequacy risks illustrated by recent power disruptions in areas including Texas and California.
The project brings together grid operators, utilities, researchers, and other key stakeholders from across the electric power industry to hasten the evolution of resource adequacy (RA) processes and tools for a decarbonized energy system that must serve society in the face of increasing threats.
“Utilities are transforming with their foot on the accelerator,” said EPRI President and CEO Arshad Mansoor. “In markets around the world, the power sector is reshaping energy systems while responding to emerging challenges. Serving tomorrow’s energy customer means anticipating and preparing for high-impact events when, where, and how they may occur. Through this initiative, EPRI is leading industry-level collaboration to understand and overcome power supply challenges before they happen.”
The focus on ensuring RA comes at an important time in the history of electric power generation and delivery in the U.S. The electric sector is critical to decarbonizing the full U.S. economy with more of society depending on electricity in the future for vital services. The enlarging presence of variable renewable generation such as solar, wind and other low-carbon resources and technologies including energy storage and accelerating electrification of end-uses means the existing power infrastructure must adapt to and support new dynamics of energy generation and consumption. This new dynamic must be managed in the context of more frequent and severe storms and other weather impacts.
The initiative is focused on four key areas:
- .Developing metrics, criteria, and scenarios to assess risk and guide investment decisions;
- .Creating models and data to characterize how system resources perform under all operating conditions;
- .Accelerating the development of resource adequacy assessment tools to advance new solutions benefiting society; and
- .Demonstrating the value of new approaches through “real world” applications across diverse regions to guide employment of new processes.
“Reliably meeting electricity needs 24/7 is increasingly important as electrification expands, becoming even more vital to the nearly 400 million people we serve in North America,” said Mark Lauby, senior vice president and chief engineer at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. “Through our collaboration with EPRI and other industry leaders, we are preparing for the transformation of the grid to ensure that resilience is sustained and improved, as the grid becomes more decarbonized, decentralized and digitized.”
The project will continuously build its coalition of participants and is expected to continue through the Q1 2023. EPRI will share findings and recommendations with key stakeholders, including regulators and public utility commissions, as they emerge, as well as in a final public report at the conclusion of the project.