ISO-NE Power Systems Updates reveal system is up to the challenge

ISO-NE’s Power System Updates show that despite the long, severe cold snap, New England’s bulk power system is continuing to operate reliably. Even with Pilgrim nuclear plant tripping offline and Winter Storm Grayson delaying fuel deliveries, the system had continued to function and provide power reliably without needing extra pipeline capacity.

Power Systems Update: New England grid operations through recent bitter cold weather and preparation for winter storm

ISO Newswire
January 5, 2018

January 5 Power Systems Update:
New England’s bulk power system continues to operate reliably. Currently, there are sufficient generating resources available to meet consumer demand and maintain power system reliability this weekend, barring an unexpected outage of any large system resource. While the ISO is continually assessing the reliability of the system, we will be challenged to deal with major contingencies under these cold weather conditions. In addition, the ISO doesn’t expect generator emission limitations to impede weekend grid operations.

The cold weather continues to affect wholesale energy prices as well as the types of power plants that are being used to meet demand. High demand for natural gas for heating is causing natural gas pipeline constraints that are resulting in high natural gas prices, which impacts wholesale electricity prices offered by natural gas-fired power plants. As a consequence, both oil- and coal-fired power plants are generating at much higher levels than is typical. Despite this change in fuel mix, most power plants have been called to operate ‘in merit’, which means that New England’s wholesale electricity prices have been set by the competitive marketplace. Yesterday, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station tripped offline, reducing the amount of generation coming from nuclear power. While no immediate reliability issues have resulted, this outage does further challenge the region’s fuel availability risk because we will need to rely more heavily on other generating resources to meet consumer demand and meet overall grid reliability.

January 4 Power Systems Update:
New England’s bulk power system is currently operating reliably.
Through this weekend, we expect to have sufficient capacity and fuel available to meet demand, barring unexpected outages.

The cold weather continues to affect wholesale energy prices as well as the types of power plants that are being used to meet demand. High demand for natural gas for heating is causing natural gas pipeline constraints that are resulting in high natural gas prices. As a consequence, both oil- and coal-fired power plants are generating at much higher levels than is typical. The high fuel prices are pushing up wholesale power prices as well. In general, a snow storm doesn’t affect forecasted demand for power, unless there are local power outages caused by stormy conditions.

Pilgrim tripped offline earlier this afternoon due to storm conditions. While it is an unexpected outage, there are no immediate reliability issues to the local area. However, this outage does further challenge the region on fuel availability because we need to rely on other generating resources to meet consumer demand and meet overall grid reliability.

January 3 Power Systems Update:
Throughout the recent cold weather blanketing the region, New England’s bulk power system has been operating under normal conditions. However, the cold weather is having an effect on wholesale energy prices as well as the types of power plants that are being used to meet demand. High demand for natural gas for heating is causing natural gas pipeline constraints that are resulting in high natural gas prices. As a consequence, the price of generators burning natural gas has risen higher than the price of generators burning oil or coal, so a significant portion of the region’s electricity is being generated by power plants that use oil. With this price inversion, both oil- and coal-fired power plants are generating at much higher levels than is typical. The high fuel prices are pushing up wholesale power prices as well. Nuclear power, coal, dual-fuel units running on oil, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are also providing power system support.
The winter reliability program is again providing critical support for reliability. The program offers incentives for oil-fired generators to stock up on oil before winter began and to replenish their fuel supplies as necessary prior to March 1.

» Read full Updates from ISO-NE

1 thought on “ISO-NE Power Systems Updates reveal system is up to the challenge

  1. Pingback: Doomsday weather scenario … without the doom. | No Fracked Gas in Mass

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