Polar Vortex set to test Midwest grids amid FERC resilience debate

By District Energy posted 01-30-2019 13:46


Gavin Bade, Utility Dive


Dive Brief: 

  • Grid operators throughout the Midwest U.S. say they are prepared as record-breaking cold buffets the region, raising electricity demand and putting energy infrastructure at risk.

  • PJM Interconnection and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) put emergency generation procedures into effect this week ahead of a "polar vortex" event expected to dip temperatures into the negative 20s across much of their service areas. As of Wednesday morning, their systems were operating normally.

  • The bigger test may come Thursday, when PJM forecasts record electricity demand across its 13-state service area. Recent cold snaps have exposed vulnerabilities in gas delivery, coal plant operations and transmission lines, sparking market reforms at regional grid operators and grid resilience discussions at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

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