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Utility Dive: FERC Chair Glick wants mandatory winterization standards for power plants following Texas grid failure

Posted by Robert Walton on Sep 24, 2021

Utility Dive outlined FERC and NERC's move for stronger weatherization standards, quoting AEE's Jeff Dennis. Read snippets below and the full article here.

The February 2021 cold snap was not the first time U.S. power plants and gas transportation systems failed under extreme cold conditions, the joint report makes clear. Rather, it was the fourth time in the last decade that cold weather "jeopardized bulk-power system reliability due to unplanned cold weather-related generation outages."

Along with this year's polar vortex, there were similar events in 2011, 2014 and 2018, the report found, impacting power generators in Texas, along with the South, Central and Eastern portions of the U.S.

"We can't think about these as black swan events anymore," Advanced Energy Economy Managing Director and General Counsel Jeff Dennis said...

The preliminary report makes nine key recommendations, including requiring generators to "identify and protect cold weather-critical components," and to build new or retrofit existing units to "operate to specific ambient temperatures and weather based on extreme temperature and weather data." Plants should also be required to take into account effects of wind and precipitation in winterization plans, the report says.

"There could be the possibility of million-dollar-a-day violation penalties in the future," Dennis said.

The report also recommends generators be allowed to recover the costs of weatherization.

NERC could take up the report's recommendations on its own and begin a stakeholder process to develop new rules, said Dennis. If it does not act, FERC could issue an order directing the reliability organization to develop new rules. 

Read the full article here.

Topics: AEE In The News