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NERC Reports Electricity Reliability Adequate this Winter
A recent report predicts that North America's electricity generating capacity, transmission systems, and generation fuels will be adequate this winter.
According to the North American Electric Reliability Council’s (NERC) 2006/2007 winter assessment report, generating capacity margins have not changed significantly since last winter, with winter 2006/2007 margins judged to be adequate across North America.
Peak demands for this winter are forecast to be higher than actual peaks recorded last winter in all areas except New England, Texas, the Southwest, and parts of Missouri, according to the report. In New England, electricity price increases in 2005 and in 2006 were the biggest factors in the lower peak demand forecast for this winter. Colder-than-normal weather last winter in the other areas is the primary reason this winter's forecasts are lower than last year's actual demands.
Transmission systems will be adequate for reliability purposes, but some constraints may reoccur that may limit desired market transactions. Some regions have experienced large and volatile power flows in recent years due to large power transfers across and through their systems, according to the report. If such flows occur again this winter, operators may be required to limit power exchanges to maintain system reliability.