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Posted: 05/04/2022

NPCC Summer 2022 Reliability Assessment Overview

This comprehensive reliability assessment conducted by the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, Inc. (NPCC) projects that the Region (consisting of the six New England states, the State of New York, the provinces of Ontario, Québec and the Canadian Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) will have an adequate supply of electricity this summer.

A wide range of conditions were analyzed, including forecast demand uncertainty; unexpected generator plant outages; transmission constraints between Regions and within NPCC; implementation of operating procedures; estimated impact of demand response programs; and additional capacity unavailability coupled with reduced transfer capabilities.

Forecasts indicate sufficient transmission capability and adequate capacity margins to meet peak demand and required operating reserves. If needed, established operating procedures are available to maintain reliability and keep electricity supplies and demand in balance.

With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions lifting in most regions, many organizations have already begun phased, return to office plans, with some electing to continue splitting the work arrangements between home and office. Overall impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to translate to a small increase to summer peak demands as workplace requirements are blended with home office electricity use. However, ambient weather conditions are the single most important variable impacting the demand forecasts during the summer months.

Transmission and Resource Adequacy Summary

NPCC

The assessment projects that the Region (consisting of the six New England states, the State of New York, the provinces of Ontario and Québec and the Canadian Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) will have an adequate supply of electricity this summer.

Approximately 159,400 MW of installed capacity (1) is forecast for NPCC this summer, including projects expected to be in service over the course of this summer period. Considering retirements and other adjustments, NPCC’s installed capacity has decreased by approximately 1,530 MW from last summer. The largest installed capacity decrease occurs in Ontario and New England.

The coincident NPCC 2022 summer peak demand forecast (2) is 104,601 MW. This forecast is 526 MW higher than the NPCC 2021 summer peak coincident demand forecast of 104,075 MW. After accounting for transmission constraints, the spare operable capacity (over and above reserve requirements) for NPCC this summer is estimated to range from 8,200 MW to over 15,000 MW.

The sizeable estimate of NPCC spare operable capacity will help to counteract adverse reliability impacts from unavailability/inoperability of key facilities, such as resulting from equipment and fuel supply interruptions, and deferred generation maintenance.

However, ambient weather conditions remain the most important variable in forecasting peak demand during the summer months. Historically, the peak loads and temperatures between New England and New York have a high correlation due to the relative locations of their respective load centers. There is also some potential for the Ontario summer peak demand to be coincident with New England and New York.

New York

Throughout New York State, an adequate supply of electricity is forecast this summer. The New York Independent System Operator (New York ISO) forecasts installed capacity of 37,431 MW for the 2022 summer peak demand forecast of 31,765 MW, which is 562 MW lower than the corresponding 2021 summer peak demand forecast. Accounting for purchases, sales, required operating reserve, planned and unplanned outages results in a spare operable capacity of 1,884 MW during the week of the NPCC forecast coincident peak demand.

Resource additions include seven new solar generation facilities. Considering all changes and other capacity adjustments, the resultant net change for New York generation (from summer 2021 through this summer) is a decrease of 283 MW.

The New York ISO does not anticipate any transmission related reliability issues for this summer. Multiple outages are expected over the summer period to facilitate the construction of New York public policy projects, but equipment is expected to be restored to service over high load periods, if needed. The Hudson/Marion-Farragut Phase Angle Regulator controlled 230/345 kV circuits are expected to remain out of service for the duration of this summer. The PJM/Neptune DC unidirectional cable, currently restricted by 275 MW, is expected to return to full service in August 2022.

New England

The Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-New England) forecasts installed capacity of 29,537 MW for the peak week demand forecast of 24,817 MW. Accounting for purchases, sales, required operating reserve, planned and unplanned outages results in a spare operable capacity of 1,705 MW for the week of the NPCC forecast coincident peak demand.

The ISO-New England 2022 summer peak demand forecast is 24,817 MW assuming historically based expected summer peak weather conditions. The 2022 summer peak demand forecast is 7 MW higher than the corresponding 2021 summer peak demand forecast.

New England generator retirements include Mystic Unit No. 7, the Mystic Jet, and Bridgeport Harbor Unit No. 4. Considering a variety of several other smaller resources (including solar, wind and storage resources), the resultant net change for New England generation (from summer 2021 through this summer) is a 425 MW decrease.

With natural gas as the predominant fuel source for power generation in New England, ISO-New England monitors the factors affecting the natural gas fuel deliverability for the area. For the 2022 summer period, ISO-New England expects limited amounts of natural gas pipeline maintenance and construction to occur for select areas and does not forecast major deliverability issues that would affect the installed capacity.

The existing New England transmission system is projected to be sufficient for the 2022 summer period. Numerous transmission upgrades continue to be commissioned to address New England’s reliability needs. These transmission improvements have reinforced the overall reliability of the electric power system and reduced congestion, enabling power to flow more easily around the entire region. The improvements support decreased energy costs and increased power system flexibility.

Ontario

The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (Ontario IESO) is anticipating a spare operable capacity of 889 MW during the week of the NPCC forecast coincident peak demand. The Ontario IESO 2022 summer peak demand forecast is 22,546 MW. The forecast is 46 MW higher that last summer’s forecast peak demand.

From the summer of 2021 through this summer, additions include the delayed commissioning of two wind resources, totaling 160 MW. Considering other capacity adjustments, the resultant net change for Ontario’s generation (from summer 2021 through this summer) is a 765 MW decrease.

For this summer, Ontario’s transmission system is expected to be adequate with planned transmission system enhancements and scheduled transmissions outages. The Phase Angle Regulator connected to the Ontario-New York 230kV circuit L33P is expected to be back in-service by the third quarter of 2022. This will provide greater flexibility to control future intertie flows with New York.

Québec

The Province of Québec is winter peaking. Adequate resources are forecast to be available to serve summer peak demand and meet operating reserve requirements this summer. Québec is projecting weekly spare operable capacity margins in the range of approximately 4,200 MW to 7,000 MW for this summer.

The Québec 2022 summer peak demand forecast (excluding April, May, and September) is 22,113 MW. The 2022 summer peak demand forecast is 835 MW higher than last summer’s peak demand forecast of 21,436 MW. No resource adequacy problems are forecast; the Québec Area expects to be able to provide assistance to other areas, if needed, up to the transfer capability available.

For this summer period, wind generation total capacity is lowered (adjusted) by 60 MW and a decrease in biomass generation by 36 MW. Considering other adjustments, the resultant net change for Québec generation (from summer 2021 through this summer) is a 17 MW decrease.

Most transmission line, transformer and generating unit maintenance is done during the summer period. Maintenance outages are assessed and coordinated with neighboring Area Reliability Coordinators to meet internal demands and provide for maximum capability to summer peaking areas.

Maritime Provinces

The Maritime Provinces are also winter peaking. Adequate resources are forecast to be available to serve summer peak demand and meet operating reserve requirements. The Maritimes weekly spare operable capacity ranges from approximately 260 MW to about 1,400 MW this summer.

The Maritimes Area has a 2022 summer peak demand forecast (excluding April, May and September) of 3,475 MW for the week beginning June 5, 2022 with a projected spare operable capacity of 261 MW. When compared to the 2021 summer peak demand forecast, it is a decrease of 4 MW.

Since the summer of 2021 and through this summer, the Maritimes retired the generation at the Charlottetown (Units No. 9 and No. 10) and the Milltown Generating Stations. Considering retirements, the resultant net change for Maritimes generation is a 43 MW decrease.

The Maritimes transmission system is projected to be adequate to supply the demand requirements for this summer. A 500 MW (475 MW received in Nova Scotia) High Voltage Direct Current undersea cable link (Maritime Link) between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia was installed in late 2017. The associated firm capacity contract is expected to facilitate the eventual retirement of a 153 MW coal-fired unit in Nova Scotia; thus, the overall resource adequacy will be unaffected by these changes.

Estimated Need for Operating Procedures

A probabilistic assessment was conducted modeling NPCC and its neighboring Areas, identifying reliability risks associated with the base case and low-likelihood reduced resource scenario for a wide range of assumptions, including forecast demand uncertainty, unexpected generator plant outages, transmission constraints between and within Regions, implementation of operating procedures, estimated impact of demand response programs, additional capacity unavailability coupled with reduced transfer capabilities. The assessment determined that established operating procedures are available and sufficient to maintain reliability and keep electricity supplies and demand in balance.

Operational Readiness

The Resource and Transmission Reliability Adequacy Assessments are key elements in determining the NPCC Region’s ability to meet the forecast demands of the summer period. To be prepared to deal with the constantly changing operating conditions on the power system, as well as contingencies, NPCC routinely conducts daily and week-ahead planning calls between system operators and neighboring regions to coordinate short-term system operations.

NPCC continues to refine and expand its situational awareness capability to further enable NPCC system operators and neighboring regions to communicate current operating conditions and facilitate the procurement of assistance under emergency conditions. In addition, NPCC supports Electric-Gas Operations reliability coordination efforts to promote communications, awareness, and information sharing.

Geomagnetic Storms

During the last six months, solar and geomagnetic activity have behaved largely as predicted, with mostly quiet to unsettled conditions intermixed with periods of active to modestly weak storm-level conditions. Most activity has been driven by an increase in minor solar flare and related coronal mass ejection activity, which is an expected trait of an intensifying solar cycle, accompanied by an expected decrease in the accuracy of long-term predictions. These trends will continue to increase slowly and episodically through the summer of 2022.

Presently, there is heightened risk where significant solar and coronal mass ejection activity could occur at any time from the sunspot groups that form. The next solar cycle is predicted to be around the same size as the last solar cycle and should reach a peak near 2025. As the new solar cycle progresses and activity starts to very slowly ramp up, a heavier reliance on shorter-term predictions of 72 hours or less will be necessary. The region actively monitors all types of weather, including solar storms, as power system reliability can be affected under certain conditions. Both NERC and NPCC have implemented standards and procedures requiring entities to mitigate the potential effects of geomagnetic disturbances.

NPCC Region

NPCC is one of six Regional Entities located throughout the United States, Canada and portions of Mexico that, in concert with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, seeks to assure a highly reliable, resilient, and secure North American bulk power system through the effective and efficient identification, reduction, and mitigation of reliability risks. NPCC’s geographic area includes the six New England states, the State of New York, the provinces of Ontario, Québec, and the Canadian Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Overall, NPCC covers an area of nearly 1.2 million square miles, populated by approximately 56 million people.

NPCC carries out its mission through: (i) the development of regional reliability standards and compliance assessment and enforcement of continent-wide and Regional Reliability standards, (ii) coordination of system planning, design and operations, and assessment of reliability, and (iii) the establishment of Regionally-specific criteria and monitoring and enforcement of compliance with such criteria.

Additional information regarding NPCC is available at: www.npcc.org.

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(1) Based on summer nameplate ratings.
(2) The summer peak demand forecasts referenced in this overview represent having a 50% chance of being exceeded.
 

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NPCC 2022 Summer Reliability Assessment Media Release

May 04, 2022

NPCC Summer 2022 Reliability Assessment Overview

May 04, 2022

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