The operator of the nation’s largest electrical grid on April 30 reiterated its system will stay dependable even with the retirements of considerable technology assets. But PJM Interconnection, whose system covers clients in 13 states, mentioned it’s going to conduct a assessment of its operations over the subsequent a number of months “to grasp the fuel-supply dangers in an surroundings trending in direction of larger reliance on pure gasoline.”

PJM needs to know whether or not its community may nonetheless function reliably within the occasion of outages from pure disasters akin to excessive climate, a cyberattack, or pipeline points that will curtail the movement of pure gasoline on its system. The regional transmission group (RTO) in March 2017 issued a report—”PJM’s Evolving Resource Mix and System Reliability”—that mentioned its system may add extra pure gasoline and renewable energy technology and stay dependable, however “heavy reliance on one useful resource kind” may carry dangers to grid resiliency.

PJM lately mentioned greater than three,600 MW of technology capability will retire in its service territory in 2018. In addition, Ohio energy firm FirstEnergy in March mentioned its aggressive arm would shut 4 uneconomic nuclear items in PJM with technology capability of four GW by year-end 2021. The firm’s coal and nuclear technology divisions additionally lately filed for Chapter 11 chapter safety.

FirstEnergy’s energy plant subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), in late March requested Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry to “discover that an emergency situation exists” in PJM. It is asking for monetary compensation for coal and nuclear vegetation within the RTO.

PJM on Monday mentioned it had accomplished an evaluation of the FirstEnergy closures and located they’d not affect grid reliability. It additionally mentioned it might instantly start a course of to “analyze gas safety vulnerabilities and set up standards to evaluate areas within the PJM system that would face future gas safety points. The standards would be the means to worth and value gas safety. Those standards may then be included into PJM’s present market mechanisms to advertise competitors amongst totally different useful resource varieties to satisfy any gas safety wants in a selected location, with reforms to be in place for subsequent yr’s capability public sale, if crucial.”

“Competitive markets stay the very best mechanism to take care of a dependable and gas safe system on the lowest cheap value to clients,” PJM President and CEO Andrew L. Ott mentioned in a information launch. “We have the flexibility to determine dangers to the system and to place a price on assets that offset that threat.”

The RTO mentioned the method will embody three phases:

  • Identify system vulnerabilities and decide attributes akin to on-site gas necessities, dual-fuel functionality, or others that be certain that peak calls for may be met throughout excessive situations.
  • Model these vulnerabilities as constraints in PJM’s capability market, much like present transmission constraints, permitting for correct valuation of wanted attributes out there.
  • PJM will proceed to work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, states, stakeholders, and others to make sure that the outcomes are in step with recognized safety wants within the PJM footprint, together with service to key army installations and different recognized safety issues.

Ott in a convention name Monday mentioned PJM’s grid is “gas safe” however needs to make sure it’s going to stay so if extra pure gasoline technology is added. “Are we going to search out ourselves in a scenario the place we’re over-dependent on one kind of gas supply infrastructure,” Ott mentioned. “If a pipeline can be compromised, does a (energy plant) have ample backup, or (have) a number of methods to get gas?”

Ott additionally mentioned the assessment will have a look at gas safety for pure gasoline…

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