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Download Reliability and the Oncoming Wave of Retiring Baseload Units, Volume I: The Critical Role of Thermal Units During Extreme Weather Events
<< Return DOE/NETL-2018/1883

Date: 3/13/2018
Type: Report
Status: Active
NETL Contact: Peter Balash
Technology Focus Area(s):
Analysis Focus Area(s): Energy Security; Grid Reliability
Author(s): Peter C Balash PhD (NETL); John Brewer; Kenneth C. Kern (NETL); Chris Nichols (NETL); Justin Adder (NETL); Gavin Pickenpaugh (NETL); Erik Shuster (NETL)

Product Description
This study examines the cold weather event now known as the Bomb Cyclone that blanketed much of the eastern half of the United States from Dec 27, 2017 through Jan 8, 2018. Analyses focus on six areas of organized markets administered by independent system operators in the US Eastern Interconnection and Texas. This report finds: (1) Combined, fossil and nuclear energy plants provided 89% of electricity during peak demand across all the ISOs; (2) Coal provided the most resilient form of generation in PJM; (3) The value of fuel-based power generation resilience in PJM during this event was estimated at $3.5 billion; (4) Natural gas price spikes, increased demand, and pipeline constraints led to significant fuel oil burn in the US Northeast; (5) Renewables imposed a resilience penalty on the system as output decreased as demand increased; (6) Underestimation of coal and nuclear retirements could give rise to reliability concerns and an inability to meet projected electricity demand.