A-3 | Presentation

FERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and its Regional Entities today found that the nation’s electric grid and natural gas system largely operated without any major incidents during the January 2024 severe weather that swept Arctic air across much of North America.

Yet amid the progress by both the natural gas and electric industries, work remains on identifying critical natural gas infrastructure, timely communication of operational issues and enhanced gas-electric situational awareness to support electric reliability. 

These observations are the result of a review launched in February to evaluate the operation of the natural gas and bulk-power systems during Winter Storms Gerri and Heather. The review looked at weather conditions, natural gas performance, planning and operations practices, and generator performance, focusing on progress since completion of the joint inquiries into Winter Storms Uri and Elliott and the December 2023 Blackstart Availability Study. FERC and NERC staff presented their findings today at the monthly FERC meeting.

“This is how it should be: We apply our experience from lessons of the past as we face severe winter weather,” FERC Chairman Willie Phillips said. “But we still have work to do. I continue to urge entities to act on both the Winter Storm Uri and Winter Storm Elliott report recommendations. And it is my hope that Congress can help us address gas-electric coordination issues by creating an organization to oversee reliability of the gas industry.”

“While there were important differences between Storms Gerri and Heather and Storms Elliott and Uri, it is clear that the industry prepared and got ready for the arctic cold that engulfed much of the country in January,” NERC President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Robb said.  “I am confident that the winter reliability requirements in our cold weather standards are providing clarity and the winter preparation support NERC and the Regional Entities are providing is making a difference in generation performance during cold weather events, but as the Chairman notes, there is still much left to do.”

The review also found:

  • System operators did not need to cut power to any customers during the storms;
  • Natural gas and electric entities improved their preparation for extreme cold weather, with an emphasis on communication and coordination;
  • Generators reported fewer outages due to improved winter preparedness, improved fuel supply methods and better awareness of generator operating limitations.


This page was last updated on April 25, 2024