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Summer Assessment
Summer Assessments assess the adequacy of electricity supplies in the United States and Canada for the upcoming summer peak demand periods.
NERC prepares summer reliability assessments in its capacity as the Electric Reliability Organization.  The assessments provide an independent view of summer reliability outlook for the North American bulk power system (BPS) while identifying trends, reliability issues, and potential risks.  Additional insight includes resource adequacy and operating reliability, as well as an overview of projected seasonal electricity demand for individual assessment areas.

The 2013 Summer Reliability Assessment provides an independent assessment of the reliability of the bulk electricity supply and demand in North America for the period June 2013 through September 2013. The report specifically provides a high‐level reliability assessment of 2013 summer resource adequacy and operating reliability, an overview of projected electricity demand and supply changes, and focused area assessments.

The primary objective in providing this assessment is to identify areas of concern regarding the reliability of the North American BPS and to make recommendations for remedial actions as needed. The assessment process enables BPS users, owners, and operators to systematically document their operational preparations for the coming season and exchange vital system reliability information.
The Reliability Assessment Subcommittee (RAS) of the NERC Planning Committee (PC) prepared this report based on data the eight NERC Regional Entities and other stakeholder participants submitted by April 30, 2013. Any other data sources used by NERC staff in the preparation of this document are identified in the report. NERC, in concert with industry stakeholders, performed detailed data checking on the reference information received by the Regions, as well as a review of all self‐assessments, to form its independent view and assessment of the reliability projected for the 2013 summer season. NERC also uses an active peer review process to develop reliability assessments. The peer review process takes advantage of industry subject matter expertise from many sectors. This process also provides essential checks and balances for ensuring the validity of the assessment and conclusions provided by the Regional Entities.
The following key findings in this assessment point to common themes across North America or region‐specific challenges:
  • ERCOT’s summer planning reserve margin is projected to be below the NERC Reference Margin Level.
  • In southern California, tight supply resources may lead to operational challenges.
  • Across North America, increased wind and solar capacity since last summer adds more on‐peak supply uncertainty.
  • Persisting drought conditions west of the Mississippi River will require close plant and system monitoring.
Additional observations include:
  • Retirements and retrofits to meet future environmental regulations are not anticipated to cause reliability concerns this summer.
  • Above‐average growth in peak demand is projected in ERCOT and WECC.
Click HERE to access the 2013 Summer Reliability Assessment (PDF)

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