Understanding What Reliability Entails
John Moura is NERC’s Director of Reliability Assessment and System Analysis. NERC is the electric reliability organization for North America, subject to oversight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and governmental authorities in Canada. NERC’s jurisdiction includes users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system, which serves more than three hundred thirty-four million people.
Whether or not you work in the electric industry, you have probably already experienced and observed the unprecedented change transforming the bulk power system, or BPS, across North America.
The electricity grid as we know it is in the midst of an evolutionary shift that will shape our energy resources for years to come. The rules of the road are evolving to accommodate the expected resource mix change. Swift action by state, federal and provincial regulators is needed so the electric industry can build and reliably operate the grid of the future. There has never been a more critical time for understanding the key elements of electric reliability.
Across North America, state and provincial public policy initiatives are strongly influencing the types of resources being added to the bulk power system. They are also encouraging low cost and low environmental impact offsets on the distribution system, such as energy efficiency, demand-side management and distributed energy resources (DER).
The rapid deployment of distributed solar photovoltaic systems, energy management systems, microgrids, demand services, aggregated generation behind the retail meter and many other types of distributed generation is taking place.