Other Implementation Issues – Playbook Review Part 11
In part ten, we looked at evaluating resiliency program results and gave some recommendations on communicating with regulators, others in the industry, the media, and the public. In the final part of this series, we will now look at a few issues utilities may face when implementing a resiliency program. This topic is covered in chapter eight of PDi2’s Utility Infrastructure Resiliency Playbook.
Dynamic Regulatory Environment
The Federal and State regulatory environment remains highly dynamic and monitoring the development of this environment is critical. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and State Public Utility Commission (PUC) continue to search for solutions to improve system reliability or resiliency.
Climate Change Complications
The potential for climate change related impacts on electric system reliability and resiliency continue. If these changes continue to manifest, it will result in different risk and risk context for the management of electric systems. As an example, global mean sea level has already risen seven to eight inches since 1900, and the potential inundation of coastal cities will present additional challenges to undergrounding strategies.
The potential for attacks, theft, and vandalism, are continuing threats. The undergrounding of electric assets may both reduce and change the risk exposure to these assets in ways not well understood or experienced.
Geomagnetic Disturbances (GMD) & Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
Electric systems are subject to geomagnetic or electromagnetic disturbances and while not well known or recognized, North America has experienced multiple impacts including a severe 1859 geomagnetic storm that significantly disrupted the telegraph system. While the undergrounding of system assets will protect them from some of these impacts it increases exposure to other aspects.
Undergrounding Impact Measures
The vast majority of reliability or resiliency measures are set up to assess total system performance. Regional levels or targeted metrics have not been well defined and performance data on capabilities are not regularly collected by many utilities. Because of the targeted nature of many underground strategies, regional or other targeted metric development will continue to require attention and effort.
As is described in part 6, regular communication with regulators, stakeholders, and the general public is critical. These communications will only become more important in the future and continued work on communication methods and concepts are required.
Download the Resiliency Playbook
Resiliency programs and particularly undergrounding strategies deliver significant benefits, especially when highly targeted. Given the dynamic nature of the utility, climate, and related environments, new implementation issues will continue to present.
The Utility Infrastructure Resiliency Playbook is designed to help electric investor-owned, municipal, and co-op utilities address these obstacles and to adapt to the dynamic and changing environment. This comprehensive resource includes details on each step of developing a program, case studies, and links to additional resources. Download this comprehensive resource for free on our Research page.