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NERC chief says pace of grid changes could result in energy shortfalls over summer

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent, Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 755 items added with 372,789 views
  • Jun 1, 2021

The Biden Administration is pushing full speed ahead on its Green New Deal-lite platform, funneling money into transmission upgrades and incentivizing renewable energy projects. Although this is seen as largely positive, the North American Electric Reliability Corps CEO Jim Robb believes the pace of changes to the country's energy infrastructure will put too much stress on the country's grids and result in power outages through the summer. 

The NERC's 2021 Summer Reliability Assessment says Texas, California, New England and parts of the Midwest could see power outages during peak demand times in the summer. California, always at risk, could be at risk of power outages during normal demand times. 

Robb said he was supportive of the energy transition, but said more attention needed to be paid to the impact the changes have on the grid and system operators. Reliability could be down during our transition phase and I'm surprised this is the first time we're hearing about some of these unintended consequences. We are only a month out from summer and a couple of months from July and August, when demand typically peaks. In California, independent system operators have given a more comforting assessment, expecting supply to be in a better place than in 2020 when the state experienced rolling blackouts. 




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