FERC to look at the impact of climate change on electric reliability

Published on February 24, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will examine the threat that climate change and extreme weather events pose to electric reliability.

The analysis will look at how grid operators prepare for and respond to extreme weather events, such as droughts, extreme cold, wildfires, hurricanes, and heatwaves.

“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 Chairman Richard Glick said.

The proceeding will include a technical conference with an opportunity for parties to submit comments in advance. Further, FERC’s Office of Enforcement is examining wholesale natural gas and electricity market activity during last week’s extreme cold weather to determine if any market participants engaged in market manipulation or other violations.

If the Office of Enforcement finds any potential wrongdoing, it will pursue those matters as non-public investigations. This examination will occur 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 uses data from the financial markets to screen daily and monthly trading at the majority of natural gas trading hubs in the United States and wholesale electricity markets. DAS closely scrutinizes any potentially anticompetitive or manipulative behavior to determine if an investigation is appropriate. The Office of Enforcement will work with FERC’s federal partners as necessary and appropriate.