Statement on Impending Arctic Cold Across United States

​WASHINGTON, D.C. – To reinforce last week​s statement on the upcoming extreme cold weather across much of the country, NERC is monitoring the impending extreme cold weather events forecast across much of North America, starting this weekend and expected to continue through next Tuesday. This extreme weather pattern of arctic cold and heavy rain across most of the lower 48 states has the potential to create significant challenges, especially in major metropolitan areas, as forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration​s National Weather Service.

NERC urges Generator Owners and Operators, fuel suppliers, Reliability Coordinators, Balancing Authorities and Transmission Operators to evaluate energy adequacy, and load-serving entities should review their demand projections to ensure the highest levels of reliability. Securing fuel supplies, readying units through winterization and dispatching fuel will require prudent attention throughout the long, holiday weekend.

NERC works with industry stakeholders to prepare for and mitigate the potential impacts of such significant weather events, and its comprehensive approach includes mandatory Cold Weather Reliability Standards, guidelines on cold weather preparations, follow-up on Winter Storm Elliott recommendations, alerts, industry webinars and the publication of seasonal assessments.

NERC and industry stakeholders have been working diligently to revise existing standards and introduce new cold weather standards to assure power plants are adequately winterized and prepared for extreme cold temperatures. EOP-012-1 – Extreme Cold Weather Preparedness and Operations is specifically aimed at improving winter preparedness and coordination between Generator Owners and Generator Operators and bulk power system operators. As subsequently directed by FERC, EOP-012-1 is currently being revised to strengthen cold weather generator requirements.

Additionally, in October 2023, NERCs Board of Trustees adopted EOP-011-4 – Emergency Operations and TOP-002-5 – Operations Planning, addressing key recommendations from the 2021 FERC-NERC joint report into the winter storms in Texas and the South–Central United States, which are currently awaiting FERC approval. 

The recently published NERC 2023 Long-Term Reliability Assessment highlights the critical interdependence between the electric and gas sectors as a significant risk to the future. NERC is calling for formalized coordination and collaboration between both industries, including the development of a reliability standard-setting and enforcement organization and the need for coordination between both industries to ensure their reliable operation.

The reliability of the North American electric grid is a key priority for NERC — we know nearly 400 million North Americans are counting on us.

Remarks by NERC President and CEO Jim Robb​

Posted On: 01/09/2024