AICPA SOC Service Organizations - Certrec

Statement on Impending Severe Cold Weather across United States



As part of its role to assure the reliable operation of the North American electric grid, NERC is monitoring the impending extreme cold weather events forecast across much of the country, starting this weekend on the East Coast and followed by a series of powerful storms with the potential to create additional significant challenges across many states. NERC urges generators and fuel suppliers to evaluate energy adequacy and load-serving utilities to carefully review their demand projections to ensure the highest levels of reliability, if such events do occur.

NERC works with industry stakeholders to prepare for and mitigate the potential impacts of such significant weather events, and its comprehensive approach includes mandatory Cold Weather Reliability Standards, guidelines on cold weather preparations, follow-up on Winter Storm Elliott recommendations, alerts, industry webinars and the publication of seasonal assessments.

NERC and industry stakeholders have been working diligently to revise existing standards and introduce new cold weather standards to assure power plants are adequately winterized and prepared for extreme cold temperatures. EOP-012-1 – Extreme Cold Weather Preparedness and Operations, approved by FERC in February 2023, is specifically aimed at improving winter preparedness and coordination between Generator Owners and Generator Operators and bulk power system operators. As subsequently directed by FERC, EOP-012-1 is currently being revised to strengthen cold weather generator requirements.

Additionally, in October 2023, NERC’s Board of Trustees adopted EOP-011-4 – Emergency Operations and TOP-002-5 – Operations Planning, addressing key recommendations from the 2021 FERC-NERC joint report into the winter storms in Texas and the South-Central United States, which are currently awaiting FERC approval. 

The recently published NERC 2023 Long-Term Reliability Assessment highlights the critical interdependence between the electric and gas sectors as a significant risk to the future. NERC is calling for formalized coordination and collaboration between both industries, including the development of a reliability standard-setting and enforcement organization and the need for coordination between both industries to ensure their reliable operation.

The reliability of the North American electric grid is a key priority for NERC – we know nearly 400 million North Americans are counting on us.