Winter reserve margin falls in ReliabilityFirst's Midwest, eastern US footprint
Louisville, Kentucky (Platts)--4Dec2012/523 pm EST/2223 GMT
Coal-fired power plant retirements are lowering reserve margins across
the ReliabilityFirst region, but the Akron, Ohio-based regional organization
of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. said Tuesday it still is
forecasting more than adequate generation capacity this winter.
In a 2012-2013 winter assessment report made available to Platts,
ReliabilityFirst projects a reserve margin of 61,900 MW, or 42.8%. While
still lofty by traditional industry standards, it nevertheless is
substantially less than the 58.9% reserve margin for last winter.
The forecasted coincident peak demand for the ReliabilityFirst region
this winter is 144,700 MW, or 10,200 MW higher than the 2011-2012 winter peak
demand of 134,500 MW.
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The main reason for the increase is a reduction in the amount of
contractual demand response available this winter in the PJM Interconnection
footprint, according to the report.
"Weather and economic conditions have a significant influence on
electrical peak demands," the report added. "Any deviation from the original
forecast assumptions could cause the actual peak to be significantly
different from the forecast."
Paul Kure, ReliabilityFirst's principal engineer, said in an interview
the reduced reserve margin is the main change in this year's report.
"The reserve margins are down a little from last year because after the
summer peak, a number of companies have announced retirement of generation,"
he said. "But we still have adequate generation. Our long-term assessment is
that we didn't see any major problems with generation."
Still, it is an issue that will be watched closely by ReliabilityFirst
in the coming years.
ReliabilityFirst has 65 regular and associate members in all or parts of
several Midwestern and Eastern US states plus the District of Columbia.
Together, they serve about 72 million people -- covering all of the
states of Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey
and Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia. Also included are parts of
Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Virginia and Wisconsin.
--Bob Matyi, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, email@example.com