"Electricity is a key component of the fabric of modern society", states NERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.
NERC’s 2021 Summer Reliability Assessment warns that parts of North America are at elevated or high risk of energy shortfalls during above-normal peak temperatures.
NERC’s risk scenario analysis shows Texas, New England, MISO and parts of the West are at an “elevated risk” of energy emergencies. In the “high risk” category is California,
which relies on large energy imports during peak demand scenarios and when solar resource output retreats in the evening hours. While more than 3 GW of additional resources are expected in California this summer compared to 2020, most will be solar photovoltaic (PV) generation.
These plants can provide energy to support peak demand, however solar PV output falls off rapidly in late afternoon while high demand often remains. Reliance on imports during these periods is an increasing reliability risk. While actions taken by the California Public Utilities Commission, CAISO and utilities to procure additional resources will help, the Western Interconnection’s increase in demand and decline in resources may reduce the amount of surplus capacity available when California is in shortfall.
“As the grid transforms and weather-dependent resources become increasingly important to maintaining the real-time supply for electricity, the bulk power system becomes more vulnerable to abnormal weather,” said John Moura, director of Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis. “Above-average seasonal temperatures, such as those predicted for this summer, contribute to high peak demand and impact the availability of generation resources and imports from neighboring areas. This means that it is especially important for the electric industry to ensure the committed resource mix can support a variety of abnormal conditions.”
-Sourced from NERC Summer Assessments 2021 mts