A data-rich study on grid reliability in the Western Interconnection

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A recent study on grid reliability and disruption scenarios in the Western Interconnection highlights the potential risks to the gas-electric system as forecasted retirements and higher renewable generation pose a key challenge to reliability. Both the modeling scenarios and recent real-world events point towards a system being pushed to its limit, indicating that WECC is at an important crossroads in its trajectory.

This study can provide insight to stakeholders across the U.S. as they consider how to develop a balanced portfolio of mitigation options, in order to ensure system reliability in a changing power landscape. The study notes that maintenance and new investments in gas and electric infrastructure are necessary to meet both near-term needs and bulk power system capacity needs over time.

As states continuously push for more aggressive renewables targets and standards, utilization and implementation of these technologies will continue to grow. However, the potential of renewables and energy storage investments to mitigate reliability risks on the gas system depends on the specific nature of the vulnerability identified.

To learn more about the study and key takeaways, please download the summary slide deck by filling out the form on the right side of the page. (Read the full study here.)