Experts say electric system resiliency efforts should focus on customer impact

By Microgrid Resources Coalition posted 02-15-2018 00:00


Bill Yingling, DailyEnergyInsider


WASHINGTON – Regulators traditionally evaluate investments in the electric grid for their impact on reliability, which generally means their value in helping to keep the lights on.

But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is asking if it needs to act on another factor, resilience, which addresses a system’s ability to endure disruption.

A panel of experts discussed the topic Monday at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Winter Policy Summit in Washington D.C.

If the NARUC conversation was any indication, there will be much more discussion before federal regulators decide.

“Resiliency does not equal reliability. Reliability does not equal resiliency. But resiliency measures absolutely enhance reliability and, in all likelihood, reliability enhances resilience,” said Alison Silverstein, a veteran energy industry consultant on the panel.

The issue emerged in January when FERC rejected a proposal by the Department of Energy to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants to keep them running for grid reliability and resilience.

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