Reporting the Economics of Reliable Energy. Reliability of the U.S. Power Grid. Ralph Fehr, P.E. Engineering Consultant [email protected] Basic Electric Power System. Deregulation. Generation Transmission System Transmission Substation Industrial Customers Distribution Substation
Not-for-profit company formed after 1965 Northeast blackout to promote the reliability of the bulk electrical system that serves North America
Divided into 10 regional reliability councils
Each council monitors utilities within its area
Data courtesy of Edison Electric Institute
Data courtesy of North American Electric Reliability Council
The U.S. electric transmission grid consists of nearly 160,000 miles of high voltage (230 kilovolts and above) transmission lines.
In 1999, America’s electric utilities spent over $3 billion maintaining and operating these links to customers and $2.3 billion for construction expenditures (including replacements, additions, and improvements).
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Form 1, 1999.
(Data for investor-owned utilities only.)
By 2010, the Energy Information Administration projects that electricity consumption will increase by 22 percent.
Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2002,
DOE/EIA-0383 (2002), December 2001.
Transmission grid expansions, meanwhile, are expected to be slow. According to NERC, about 10,500 miles of transmission facility additions (230 kilovolt and above) are planned throughout North America over the next 10 years—only a 5.2 percent increase in total installed circuit miles.
NERC Reliability Assessment 2001-2010, October 2001.