Grid resilience is a top priority for the nation. Federal agencies and policymakers have identified enhancing grid resilience and security as critical to protecting customers from the devastating effects of prolonged major grid outages.
Regulatory clarity for prudency, compliance, ratemaking and affiliate pricing
FERC issued two positive orders, FERC Docket Nos. EL15-76 (PDF) and EL16-20 (PDF), in August 2015 and March 2016 respectively to Grid Assurance that provide regulatory clarity on issues related to prudency, compliance, ratemaking and affiliate pricing for transmission-owning entities participating in and subscribing to Grid Assurance as a way to strengthen transmission grid resiliency.
This regulatory clarity enables Grid Assurance to contract with multiple transmission owners necessary to create economies of scale needed to build the inventory of spare equipment required to maximize the reliability and resilience benefits of the Grid Assurance business model.
Legislators and Regulators are Pursuing Solutions
In 2022 the U.S. Department of Energy launched “Building a Better Grid” initiative to catalyze the nationwide development of new and upgraded high-capacity electric transmission lines and equipment; H. R. 6779: The Grid Resilience and Infrastructure Depot (GRID) Act of 2022 submitted.
In July of 2022 FERC initiated two rulemakings aimed at improving the reliability of the bulk power system against the threats of extreme weather: FERC Acts to Boost Grid Reliability Against Extreme Weather Conditions and Staff Presentation | One-Time Reports on Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessments.
DOE’s strategic transformer reserve study
In 2017 the Department of Energy’s Strategic Transformer Reserve Study was released to Congress (PDF). The study noted, the “most efficient and effective approach is one which builds on industry-based approaches and their on-going efforts to achieve greater transformer resilience in the face of the evolving threats.”
Based on DOE’s technical analysis and examination of current industry efforts, DOE evaluated options for establishing a strategic transformer reserve and recommended “encouraging and supporting an industry-based option driven by voluntary industry actions and North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Reliability Standard (NERC) CIP-014-2 requirements, approved by the FERC.”
Grid Assurance continues to work with federal, state and local agencies; industry groups; and other entities to improve grid resilience following high-impact events.
What people are saying
“The combined effects of diversification and pooling of assets, plus economies of scale in equipment purchasing, storage and maintenance, will cause the costs of such services to be lower than individual utilities’ cost of self-supply.”— Comments filed with the Federal Electric Regulatory Commission, by the Edison Electric Institute