Calendar of Events

Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL
Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Michigan State University, Lansing MI
Oct 01, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Washington, DC

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Public Utilities Reports

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Reliability

The Best Little Nodal Market in Texas

Sweating the details for 2009.

Gary L. Hunt

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) introduced wholesale market competition in 1996, following the organizational change of ERCOT from a pure reliability council to an independent system operator (ISO) the same year. This makes ERCOT one of the earliest adopters of competitive electric markets. Stakeholders and regulators in ERCOT are trying to work out the details of implementing this market.

Cyber Standards: FERC Asserts Its Authority

NERC’s first critical-infrastructure standard is now enforceable. But cyber rules await approval.

Christian Hamaker

Cyber standards proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. are in limbo this summer, although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission anticipates taking action on them soon. Once approved, however, how will the two organizations work together to enforce compliance?

Keep Your Eye on the South

The Southeast again is the battleground for fuels, technology, and market structure.

Gary L. Hunt

One sure sign of recovery in boom-and-bust power-generation markets is the renewed growth in the planning and construction of power plants. Active efforts are underway in generation development in the Southeast markets in spite of the high levels of generating reserve margins. With its traditional utility-dominated market structure and a preference for baseload generation, the Southeast is the battleground for the next round of power-generation development.

CIP Compliance: Reducing Your Risk

How utilities can navigate critical infrastructure protection requirements.

Scott Vanek and Mark Walton

Operations personnel at many energy companies feel the pressure of achieving compliance with the NERC CIP standards. Some worry that they are not aware of the problems and security incidents that have occurred within their critical infrastructures. Some know that they do not have the procedures in place to maintain CIP compliance.

Winds of Change Freshen Resource Adequacy

Intermittent and interruptible resources increasingly are being considered in regional resource adequacy calculations—but the approaches differ.

Lawrence Risman and Joan Ward

While both NERC and the NERC regional councils (known today as the Electric Reliability Organization) have standards and guidelines for resource adequacy and system reliability, much of the specificity as to how interruptible (e.g., demand-side) and intermittent resources (e.g., wind) are included is left up to the individual ISO/RTOs, states, provinces, etc. In fact, the various regions across North America each seem to have their own methodology for incorporating these resources into their resource adequacy and reserve-margin calculations. As the North American energy industry escalates its desire to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through the expanded use of demand-side resources and intermittent renewables, the importance of this topic also will escalate.

PJM Addresses Local Supply Issues

Electric shortages and the generation overbuild continue to co-exist.

Hind Farag

While maintaining its stance as the most sophisticated competitive electricity market in the country, PJM still faces several challenges, all of which are augmented by its expanded footprint. Most prominent is the RTO’s plan to implement a new reliability pricing model. Further, parts of PJM are ailing from transmission congestion issues that limit access to abundant, cheap power sources in the region.

Duke-ing It Out at the High Court: The End of New Source Review?

To what extent can the EPA force utilities to update aging fleets with expensive pollution-control technology?

John D. Wilson and Brian H. Potts

The U.S. Supreme Court soon will issue a potentially far-reaching decision in a case involving Duke Energy Corp. What’s the upside for the electric industry?

The Rush to Reliability

FERC races to impose NERC’s new rules, raising howls of protest in the process.

Bruce W. Radford

After pleading with Congress for so many years, and then at last winning the requisite legislative authority to impose mandatory and enforceable standards for electric reliability, to replace its legacy system of voluntary compliance, NERC finds itself at a curious juncture. It wants to slow the transition.

Unintended Consequences

Does anyone care about rising redispatch costs?

Richard Lauckhart and Gary L. Hunt

Regional transmission organizations (RTOs) or independent system operators (ISOs) dominate the major power grids of North America, with the notable exceptions of the Southeast and Pacific Northwest. The purpose of this article is not to criticize system reliability but to highlight the more pervasive challenge today and for the future: Controlling the cost impact of decisions by grid operators on energy market participants.

Reliability Monitoring: The High-Tech Eye In the Sky

How reliability performance monitoring and standards compliance will be achieved in real time.

Carlos A. Martinez, Robert W. Cummings, Philip N. Overholt, and Joseph H. Eto

The North American electric power grid has suffered several significant outages in recent years. These events and other incidents around the world spotlight the need for enforceable grid-reliability standards, wide-area visibility of the health of the power system, and real-time monitoring of grid-reliability performance to prevent blackouts. Effective reliability management requires real-time tools and technologies that can detect standards violations so that timely corrective or preventive actions can be taken.

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