News & media

Grid chief: Operators pulling ‘rabbits’ to keep lights on

BY Peter Behr, E&E News reporter | July 8, 2019

 

 

Stresses on parts of the power grid have operators scrambling for ways to keep the lights on.

In Texas, where backup power reserves are stretched to the limit, most engineers would conclude that “there’s no way in hell they can keep the lights on,” said Jim Robb, CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. “And yet they do.”

In New England, the head of the regional grid operator, Gordon van Welie, has needed a magician’s touch to escape natural gas shortages for power plants, Robb added at a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conference last month.

“Gordon up in New England constantly finds another rabbit to pull out of his hat to keep the lights on when any of us would look at that situation and say, ‘It’s got to break,'” Robb said.

California’s power network, newly reliant on solar power and strained natural gas supplies, rounds out a trio of regional grids drawing attention from federal regulators over the challenges they face.

“We’ve got three really interesting hot spots in the country right now that are challenging everything that everybody in this room thinks about how an electric system should be operated,” Robb told assembled grid experts at the June 27 meeting at FERC headquarters in Washington, D.C. (read complete article)

 


November 16, 2016 Leon Billings, Key Author of Laws on Clean Air, Water Dies | New York Times - (pdf)

November 16, 2016 Leon Billings, who crafted monumental green legislation, dies | E&E Publishing - (pdf)

October 24, 2016 An environmental 'dad' for Texas moves on | E&E Publishing - (pdf)

September 24, 2016 Climate change law has reshaped California in 10 years | SF Chronicle - (pdf)

September 8, 2016 Gov. Brown signs sweeping legislation to combat climate change | LA Times - (pdf)

September 8, 2016 BYD Applauds California Governor, Legislature for Climate Leadership with SB 32 and AB 197 - (pdf)

September 7, 2016 California's Share of Gas-Fired Generation Continues to Drop | Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) - (pdf)

August 13, 2016 Finding balance in desert renewable energy development | The Press-Enterprise - (pdf)

July 25, 2016 Energy initiative sparks desert duel | SF Chronicle - (pdf)

July 22, 2016 Pumped Up: Renewables Growth Revives Old Energy-Storage Method | WSJ - (pdf)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12