“Resilience” may be the hottest trending topic in the electricity sector today.
The Department of Energy’s recent report on the impact of coal and nuclear power plant retirements, and subsequent notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) that seeks to subsidize those units, brought the concept of resilience to the fore. Does it improve resilience to have 90-days of fuel on site — something only coal and nuclear can really do — as the DOE suggests? And more fundamentally, what is resilience and how can it be measured?
Despite the DOE’s claims, stakeholder comments confirm the electricity system lacks an agreed-upon definition or metrics for resilience as a concept — separate from reliability. Furthermore, it’s unclear that either requires FERC action; the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) already ably regulates reliability and resilience on the bulk system.
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