How the US Manages Electrical Grid Reliability and Stability

 Power Grid "Reliability Crisis" Coming to the US, Commissioner for Energy Warns

In April, there were about 10,000 energy projects across the United States that were ready to connect to electric grids and make more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW) of power.


Manchin said that the Biden administration is "trying to force a dramatic increase in electrical demand" through the BIL and IRA. This will cause transmission problems as old plants are shut down and new ones are turned on.
Representative Mark Christie of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) told the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee on May 4 that the United States was on the verge of a reliability disaster.

Christie said, "I don't use the word 'crisis' for dramatic effect; I use it because it accurately describes what we are facing." "I think everyone would see the growing chance of widespread power outages as a crisis."

Natural gas was turned off

Barrasso criticized the Biden administration for discouraging the building of natural gas pipelines, which added to the impending energy transmission bottleneck. He used an April report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to show that less pipelines were built in 2022 than at any other time since records began being kept in 1995.

Barrasso said that if coal, natural gas, and oil are not brought back into "balance" in the country's energy equation, "energy prices will skyrocket, grid reliability will decline, and families all across the country will suffer."
Christie was one of four FERC commissioners who spoke to a Senate committee about the agency's $520 million budget request for fiscal year 2024. However, senators didn't ask many direct questions about the spending plan during the meeting.
As a result of the Federal Power Act, the Natural Gas Act, and the Interstate Commerce Act, among other laws and rules, FERC is in charge of running the country's power grid.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) says that between 2013 and 2022, more than 5,200 megawatts (MW) of energy from oil, coal, and nuclear power plants were "retired." In the next few years, another 5,000 MW of energy from coal and oil plants could also be retired.

The $520 million FERC budget is not on the agenda.

A lot of the meeting was about Willie Phillips, who was named interim FERC Chair by Biden in January to replace Richard Glick, a Democrat who was criticized by Senate Republicans and Manchin for putting new rules on natural gas projects and including pipeline emissions in reviews of permits.
During the May 4 meeting, Machin said that the Biden administration's push for more greenhouse gas rules was "simply staggering."
Biden first put forward Glick for a second term, but in November, Manchin said he was "uncomfortable" with the choice and would not hold the required confirmation meeting in front of his committee.
In a statement released on January 3, Machin supported Phillips for chair, calling him “a supremely qualified and reasonable person” who “understands the need to balance affordability and reliability.”
Barrasso said he also supports Phillips's confirmation as FERC chair and praised him for "resetting the agenda to bring forward discussions for action" with a "emphasis on energy availability and affordability."

FERC has a new chair and new priorities.

Phillips said that one of the first things he did as head of FERC was make it clear why the body exists.
In his statement, he said, "It is our duty to make sure that the rates for the wholesale sale and transmission of electricity, as well as the transportation of oil and natural gas by pipeline, in interstate commerce are fair and just."
FERC is also in charge of approving and overseeing energy infrastructure, such as power plants and transmission lines. This includes "interstate natural gas pipelines" and "facilities for exporting or importing Liquified Natural Gas."
Phillips said that after making FERC's job clear, he sent out three priorities: environmental justice, dependability, and the transmission of electricity.
He told the group, "I'm happy to say that in just a few months, we have made a lot of progress on all three fronts."
Phillips said that the US is facing "unprecedented challenges to the grid's reliability" and that reliability "is—and always must be—job number one" for the IEC.

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