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Too Much Reliability

NERC confronts a case backlog now numbering in the thousands.

Fortnightly Magazine - January 2011

voice from the customer community on this.”

And by “single voice,” Wright meant that customers—especially industrial customers—want different levels of reliability. ELCON’s John A. Anderson echoed that point at the July summit:

“My membership ranges from electric arc furnace steel companies that would just absolutely love to be able to have demand response … to Intel, on the other end, that has an entire room in the back full of batteries … and that’s when they have two high-voltage feeds coming in from two different transmission lines.”

This difference in customer preference turns reliability into a financial issue—a matter of profit and loss, as Anderson had explained a few minutes earlier:

“Manufacturing processes are becoming much more technical and much more computer-driven and even when there’s a hiccup where the lights don’t seem to blink, it can cause major problems within a manufacturing facility.

“But at the same time, they’re in a world-wide competition that’s really very vicious. Cost, even a mill here and a mill there, it really is a big deal.”