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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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News Release: January 20, 2011
Docket No. AD11-08-000

Study identifies tools to help ensure grid reliability

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today issued for public comment a study that seeks to ensure reliability for consumers by identifying tools that will help manage the planning and operations of new generation resources into the nation's electricity system.

The study, conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with a team of power system experts, and initiated and funded by FERC's Office of Electric Reliability, examines what is known as the frequency response of the bulk power system. Frequency response measures how the system performs in responding to a sudden loss of generation that could cause reliability problems such as blackouts.

The purpose of the study is not to determine how much of any particular resource can be reliably integrated into an interconnection, but to develop an objective methodology to evaluate the reliability impacts of varying resource mixes including increased amounts of renewable resources. The study accomplishes this objective by developing and testing tools that can be used to assess and plan for the operational requirements of the grid.

"This study is valuable in that it gives us the tools to help determine how to manage operation and expansion of the grid, regardless of which resources the electric industry uses to generate power," FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said.

The tools also can be used in operating and planning the transmission system and designing markets to fully integrate and reliably operate the mix of generation and transmission resources deployed in the future. Finally, the tools can be used to identify and deploy the appropriate use of new technologies, such as demand response and energy storage devices in concert with renewable generation resources, in achieving reliable operation of the bulk power system.

Comments on the technical aspects of the study, "Use of Frequency Response Metrics to Assess the Planning and Operating Requirements for Reliable Integration of Variable Renewable Generation," and five supporting reports should be filed under Docket AD11-08-000 within 45 days from the study's date of issuance. The study and the five supporting reports can be found at