NERC issued its 2002 Summer Assessment today. "We expect that generating resources will be adequate to meet projected demand for electricity in North America this summer," said Michehl R. Gent, President and CEO of NERC. "Capacity margins have increased substantially in several areas of North America during the past year," he added, "and although much of North America is experiencing drought conditions, we do not expect this to materially impact reliability." The report states that transmission systems in North America are expected to perform reliably, although transmission congestion will occur again this summer. The report also notes that fuel supplies, inventories and deliveries are expected to be adequate this summer.
The assessment points out two areas of concern: southwestern Connecticut and southern Nevada. Local transmission limitations into southwestern Connecticut and tight capacity margins in southern Nevada make these areas particularly susceptible to reliability problems associated with any delays in the installation of new resources, lower than expected generating unit availability or extreme weather.
The report notes that California, New York City and Long Island are expected to have adequate capacity margins throughout the summer. The balance between capacity and demand in California has improved since last summer due to decreases in the demand for electricity and the addition of about 5,000 MW of new generating resources in the area. The addition of about 450 MW of new resources in New York City and Long Island should enable these areas to reliably serve their firm demands and meet their required levels of internal generation.
To download the report, go to: http://www.nerc.com/~filez/rasreports.html. The NERC web site also includes information about NERC reliability standards, publications, technical committees and related programs and activities.
NERC is a not-for-profit company formed as a result of the Northeast blackout in 1965 to promote the reliability of the bulk electric systems that serve North America. It works with all segments of the electric industry as well as customers to "keep the lights on" by developing and encouraging compliance with rules for the reliable operation of these systems. NERC comprises ten Regional Reliability Councils that account for virtually all the electricity supplied in the United States, Canada and a portion of Baja California Norte, Mexico.