FERC today initiated two rulemakings aimed at improving the reliability of the bulk power system against the threats of extreme weather. These are the first proposed rulemakings stemming from the Climate Change and Extreme Weather proceeding that the Commission initiated in June 2021, and they respond to numerous extreme weather events that have resulted in load shed and in, some cases, nearly caused system collapse and uncontrolled blackouts.
“Given the importance of reliable power to our way of life and the potential impacts extreme weather can have on grid reliability, FERC is taking these additional proactive steps,” FERC Chairman Rich Glick said. “Increasingly frequent cold snaps, heat waves, drought and major storms continue to challenge the ability of our nation’s electric infrastructure to deliver reliable affordable energy to consumers. Today’s actions are necessary to ensure that we are prepared for the challenges ahead.”
The Commission proposes to require the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to develop reliability standard modifications to require that:
- NERC develop benchmark planning cases based on information such as major prior extreme heat and cold weather events or future meteorological projections;
- Transmission providers conduct studies of extreme heat and cold conditions including the expected resource mix’s availability during such extreme conditions; and
- Transmission providers develop corrective action plans for any instances where performance requirements for extreme heat and cold events are not met.
The proposed rule also seeks comment on whether to similarly require studies and corrective action plans for drought conditions. (RM22-10)
The second proposed rule would direct transmission providers to submit one-time reports describing their policies and processes for conducting extreme weather vulnerability assessments and identifying mitigation strategies. These extreme weather vulnerability assessments will improve the Commission’s understanding of how transmission providers identify and mitigate risks to transmission assets and operations caused by extreme weather events. (RM22-16, AD21-13)
Comments on both proposals are due 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.R22-35