ISO-NE launches effort to quantify energy supply risks associated with extreme weather events

ISO New England has launched an effort to better understand the operational impacts of extreme weather on the region’s evolving power system. Weather, particularly the changing extremes and range of variability, is a key factor affecting energy availability, demand behavior, and related reliability concerns. Understanding how the power system will react under different weather conditions is crucial to maintain a reliable grid.

“Recent extreme weather events led to controlled power outages in California and Texas, demonstrating the devastating societal impacts that prolonged energy deficiencies can have,” said Stephen George, the ISO’s director of operational performance, training and integration, who is leading the effort. “This project is an opportunity to collaborate with industry leaders and regional stakeholders to learn about how extreme weather events may impact the region’s power system.”

The ISO is collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent, non-profit energy research and development organization, to conduct a probabilistic energy security study to assess energy security risks over the next decade under different extreme weather scenarios.

The study will begin by first identifying extreme weather events of interest, based on EPRI’s repository of historical and projected climate data.  ERPI will use this data to characterize trends, including uncertainty, in the means and extremes for different climate variables. This step will lead to the development of numerous possible extreme weather scenarios, as well as hourly profiles of weather that can be used to develop profiles of consumer demand and renewable energy generation.

EPRI and ISO will then identify the risk factors associated with different resources types and EPRI will develop models to quantitatively characterize the impacts of these risk factors on the resources. This step will allow for the identification of the extreme weather events that pose the greatest risks to the power system. This information will be used to develop scenarios that account for different variables, such as renewable energy output, consumer demand for electricity, and generator availability.

Finally, the ISO will use its enhanced 21-day energy assessment tool to assess the power system impacts of these scenarios.

This effort, which began in earnest in late 2021, is expected to take between 15 and 18 months before concluding in 2023.

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