National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Predication Center is forecasting an active hurricane season for 2018. Perhaps there is a new normal but according to existing data, the upcoming season will be near- or above-normal. The season begins June 1 and ends November 30. We will most likely see 10-15 named storms, of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes. Irby crews will be keeping a close eye on the weather all season long. As always, Irby will be ready to mobilize for restoration efforts. For more details on the predictions for this hurricane season, visit noaa.gov
WIRES, an international non-profit trade association of investor-, publicly-, and cooperatively owned transmission providers, transmission customers, regional grid managers, and equipment and service companies published a story on May 9 applauding FERC’s proposal that ISOs and RTOs consider the resiliency of the grid in the face of new threats. The article cites details from a recently released report entitled, Recognizing the Role of Transmission in Electric System Resilience, issued by The Brattle Group. This report takes a close look at how new federal policies and investments in transmission will make the grid more resilient. Take a look at the WIRES story here and read the brattle report, here.
The Arkansas Public Service Commission recently approved American Electric Power’s “Wind Catcher” project, a $4.5 billion project, taking the project another step closer to reality. The huge project is set to install 2,000 MW of wind turbines and a 350-mile power line that will carry energy to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The project will also include 800 2.5 MW wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy. Power generated will be delivered to Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Learn more about the project at Power Engineering.
International non-profit trade association WIRES recently completed and released results of a study that measured the lifecycle benefits of transmission investment. A report of the study entitled “How Does Transmission Benefit You? – Identifying and Measuring the Life-Cycle Benefits of Infrastructure Investment” along with a 2- page overview are available for review. Results are intended to help developers, planners, regulators, and energy companies identify where the best return will be realized on grid investments. Benefits covered include local economic impact, business growth, reliability and consumer costs.
Learn more about WIRES and the organization’s mission at www.wiresgroup.com.
In an article published last month on Platts.com, the reliability of variable renewable resources is covered in some detail indicating that renewables are no less reliable than other generation. John Moura, director of reliability assessment and system analysis at the North American Electric Reliability Corp. is quoted in the story and ensures that proper planning and integration is the key but that variable renewable resources can be relied upon. The story goes on to cover how the renewable movement could spur growth in transmission construction and how energy storage changes the demand and supply game. Read more online.
Though transmission congestion decreased and capacity increased in the last few years because of large expansions, such as those set forth by ERCOT, the grid remains in need of updates. Improved technology becomes more and more necessary and capacity expands.
The question hanging in the balance is what happens next? Less transmission development is planned, aging lines will be retired, and capacity is being pushed. What is the consumer cost then? And where is the incentive for utilities to adopt technologies and to upgrade?
An article published March 26 at utilitydive.com covers this topic in detail and hits on what FERC can do to prompt modernization.