The same group that was critical of Oklahoma’s bond securitization plan to cover 2021 Winter storm costs is out with its winter outlook which says Oklahoma should not have the power supply problems like it did last year.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation issued its 2022-2023 Winter Reliability Assessment for the approaching winter. While the assessment found that Texas and states in the northeast are at risk of insufficient electricity supplies during peak winter conditions, Oklahoma and other states in the Southwest Power Pool are not.
The study found that the Southwest Power Pool’s “planning reserves are adequate for the upcoming winter season.” It concluded that the SPP, whose footprint covers 546,000 square
miles and encompasses all or parts of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico,
North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming, has added 3,700 MW of natural-gas-fired generation.
During Winter Storm Uri in 2021, Oklahoma and some other members of the SPP suffered blackouts because some utilities that offered electrical power, experienced natural gas shortages, either due to high demand or frozen facilities.
NERC’s assessment says because of the additional natural-gas-fired generation, the SPP does not anticipate any emerging reliability issues for the approaching winter season. However, it said the power pool still realizes that interruptions to fuel supply could create “unique operation challenges.”
To prepare for this coming winter and avoid the catastrophe of the 2021 winter, the SPP has focused on enhancing communications and operator preparedness. It also developed what it called “operational mitigation teams, processes and procedures” to maintain real time reliability needs.
The SPP footprint includes 61,000 miles of transmission lines, 756 generating plants and more than 4,800 transmission-class substations.
As for reliability, Texas and its ERCOT could be another matter. The same study stated “A rare cold weather event in the South could result in an energy emergency in this area.” It found that extreme cold in Texas could result in high generator outages and demand volatility.