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Posted: 05/03/2023

NPCC Summer 2023 Reliability Assessment Overview

NPCC Summer 2023 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. Ambient weather conditions are the single most important variable impacting the demand forecasts during the summer months. If needed, established operating procedures are available to maintain reliability and keep electricity supplies and demand in balance.

 

Transmission and Resource Adequacy Summary

NPCC Region

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 158,800 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 560 MW from last summer. The largest net installed capacity decrease occurs in New England.

The coincident NPCC 2023 summer peak demand forecast(2) of 105,200 MW is expected to occur during the week beginning August 20, 2023 and is 599 MW higher than the NPCC 2022 summer peak coincident demand forecast of 104,601 MW. This peak demand forecast reflects approximately 6,265 MW of Area impacts of behind-the-meter generation, energy efficiency programs and other initiatives. This is approximately 725 MW higher than last year. After accounting for transmission constraints, the spare operable capacity (over and above reserve requirements) for NPCC this summer is estimated to range from 7,200 MW to over 17,000 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 37,216 MW for the 2023 summer peak demand forecast of 32,049 MW, which is 284 MW higher than the corresponding 2022 summer peak demand forecast. Estimates of behind-the-meter resources are reflected in the 32,049 MW peak load forecast. Approximately 5,100 MW of installed behind-the-meter solar photovoltaic (PV) resources are forecasted to reduce the coincident peak load by 1,113 MW. This impact, along with approximately 769 MW in energy efficiency programs and 548 MW in other initiatives totals a reduction in 2,430 MW which is 762 MW higher than last year.

Accounting for purchases, sales, required operating reserve, planned and unplanned outages results in a spare operable capacity of 1,737 MW during the week of the NPCC forecast coincident peak demand.

Resource additions include 556 MW of land-based wind. The South Fork Windfarm, a utility-scale offshore wind facility, is expected to be in service by the end of the summer for 136 MW of nameplate capacity. Additional nameplate utility scale solar generation is also expected to come online through the end of the summer. Considering the retirements of a number of combustion generators, the resultant net change for New York generation (from summer 2022 through this summer) is a decrease of 205 MW.

The New York ISO does not anticipate any transmission related reliability issues for this summer. Several outages are expected over the summer period to facilitate construction of the NYPA Smart Path, Segment A, and Segment B public policy projects; however, the equipment is expected to be restored to service if needed during high load periods.

New England

The Independent System Operator of New England’s (ISO-New England’s) 2023 summer peak demand forecast is 24,664 MW assuming historically based expected summer peak weather conditions. The 2023 summer peak demand forecast is 153 MW lower than the corresponding 2022 summer peak demand forecast.

Estimates of behind-the-meter resources are reflected in the 24,664 MW peak load forecast. Approximately 3,500 MW of installed behind-the-meter solar PV is forecasted to reduce the coincident peak load by 938 MW. This impact, along with 2,004 MW of energy efficiency demand reductions totals 2,942 MW, which is 60 MW lower than last year.

ISO New England forecasts installed capacity of 28,869 MW for the peak week demand forecast of 24,664 MW. Accounting for purchases, sales, required operating reserve, planned and unplanned outages results in a spare operable capacity of 1,262 MW for the week of the NPCC forecast coincident peak demand.

New England anticipates a variety of smaller generation resources to be in-service, including multiple solar, wind and continuous storage facilities totaling approximately 74 MW of nameplate capacity. New England’s Installed Capacity has decreased largely as a result of 566 MW of resources failing to complete seasonal claim capability audits. Considering new resource additions and a variety of several other smaller resource retirements, the resultant net change for New England generation (from summer 2022 through this summer) is a 668 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 2023 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 2023 summer period. Transmission improvements in New England have reinforced the overall reliability of the electric power system and reduced congestion, enabling power to flow more easily around the entire region.

Ontario

The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) 2023 forecasts installed capacity of 38,273 MW for the peak week demand forecast of 22,439 MW, which is 107 MW lower than last summer’s forecast peak demand. The IESO currently estimates 2,172 MW of embedded solar PV, which has reduced its peak demand forecast by 893 MW. This impact, along with other embedded behind-the-meter generation is the same as last year.

The IESO is anticipating a spare operable capacity of negative 700 MW during the week of the NPCC forecast coincident peak demand. Due to a number of coincident generator outages, the IESO anticipates relying on imports and planned generator outage rescheduling during the summer period, if needed.

From the summer of 2022 through this summer, additions include two new hydroelectric generators and the delayed commissioning of one wind generator, resulting in a net increase for Ontario’s generation of 178 MW.

For this summer, Ontario’s transmission system is expected to be adequate with planned transmission system enhancements and scheduled transmissions outages. Transmission equipment expected to be in service will provide greater flexibility to control future intertie flows with New York.

Québec

The Province of Québec is winter peaking. Adequate resources are forecasted to be available to serve summer peak demand and meet operating reserve requirements this summer. Québec is projecting spare operable capacity in the range of approximately 5,400 MW to 7,400 MW for this summer. No resource adequacy problems are anticipated; the Québec Area is prepared to assist other areas, if needed. Québec forecasts installed capacity of 46,776 MW for the peak week demand forecast of 22,859 MW, a 588 MW increase from last summer.

For the upcoming summer period, hydroelectric generation has increased by 260 MW. Considering other adjustments, the resultant net change for Québec generation (from summer 2022 through this summer) is a 272 MW increase.

Most transmission line, transformer and generating unit maintenance is done during the summer period. Maintenance outages are assessed and coordinated with neighboring Areas to meet internal demands and provide for regional reliability.

Maritime Provinces

The Maritime Provinces are winter peaking. Adequate resources are forecast to be available to serve summer peak demand and meet operating reserve requirements. The Maritimes spare operable capacity ranges from approximately 377 MW to about 1,327 MW this summer.

The Maritimes Area has a 2023 summer peak demand forecast of 3,612 MW with a projected spare operable capacity of 469 MW. When compared to the 2022 summer peak demand forecast, it is an increase of 137 MW.

The Maritimes forecast installed capacity for the peak week of 7,694 MW is similar to last summer. Since the summer of 2022 and through this summer, the Maritimes anticipates two solar farms to be in service, totaling approximately 12 MW of nameplate capacity. Accounting for a 3 MW hydro generating station that is expected to be retired over the summer, the resultant net change for the Maritimes generation (from summer 2022 through this summer) is a 9 MW increase.

The Maritimes transmission system is projected to be adequate to supply the demand requirements for this summer. The Maritime Link undersea cable, in conjunction with the construction of the Muskrat Falls hydro development in Labrador, presently provides for a 153 MW firm capacity import to Nova Scotia. Due to short-term maintenance outages and the ongoing commissioning work on the HVDC transmission link from Labrador to Newfoundland, a 148 MW coal-fired unit will be retained in Nova Scotia, if needed, to provide firm capacity and maintain an adequate planning reserve margin for reliability.

 

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

The sun is continuing a trend of higher than predicted levels of solar activity over the last six months. The next Solar Maximum is currently expected around May 2025 and could reach or exceed current Model predictions if the current shape of the Cycle persists into the future. However, it is still expected to be less active than before.

This year, some locations in North America have observed high geomagnetically induced currents; minor activity was also reported by some areas in the NPCC region. Over the coming months and years, the probability of higher geomagnetic activity is anticipated to increase.

It is important to note that the NPCC Region actively monitors solar storms as power system reliability can be affected under certain conditions. Both the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (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.

 

(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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