FERC on Feb. 22 said that it will open a new proceeding to examine the threat that climate change and extreme weather events pose to electric reliability.
The proceeding will examine how grid operators prepare for, and respond to, such extreme weather events as droughts, extreme cold, wildfires, hurricanes, and prolonged heat waves.
FERC Chairman Richard Glick said in the statement, “The effects of climate change are already apparent and we must do everything we can within our statutory authority to ensure that the electric grid is capable of keeping the lights on in the face of extreme weather.”
FERC said that the proceeding will include a technical conference with an opportunity for parties to submit comments in advance of that conference.
As TransmissionHub reported, utility customers have had to endure rotating outages this month due to extreme winter weather conditions in parts of the South and Midwest.
FERC on Feb. 16 said that it and NERC will open a joint inquiry into the operations of the bulk-power system during the extreme winter weather conditions experienced by the Midwest and South central states.
Also on Feb. 22, FERC said that its Office of Enforcement is examining the wholesale natural gas and electricity market during the recent extreme cold weather to determine if any market participants engaged in market manipulation or other violations.
FERC said that if the office finds any potential wrongdoing that can be addressed under the commission’s statutory authority, then it will pursue those matters as non-public investigations.
FERC noted that the examination will take place as part of the Division of Analytics and Surveillance’s (DAS) ongoing surveillance of market participant behavior in the wholesale natural gas and electricity markets. The division, FERC said, uses market participant-level trading data and data from the financial markets to screen daily and monthly trading at the majority of physical and financial natural gas trading hubs in the United States and the organized and bilateral wholesale electricity markets.