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Executive View

New Industry Approach to Risk Assessment Helps Energy Companies Evaluate System Vulnerabilities and Reduce the Risk of Shutdowns

Using the Climate READi Framework, utilities can react proactively to extreme weather events, reducing costs for repairs and preventing shutdowns for customers.
Morgan M. Scott - Certrec Newsletter

Morgan M. Scott

Director – Climate READi, Sustainability & Ecosystem Stewardship At EPRI


Morgan Scott is the director for Climate READi, Sustainability & Ecosystem Stewardship at EPRI, an independent, non-profit energy R&D institute. Morgan leads the institute’s effort to design and develop a comprehensive industry approach to physical climate risk assessment and mitigation. She also leads a research team driving work in Ecosystem Risk and Resiliency; Endangered and Protected Species; and Strategic Sustainability Science.

Read the full bio here.

Certrec Sentinel: We are all aware that extreme weather is testing the resilience of the U.S. energy infrastructure. The recent winter storms are no exception. It is obvious that something needs to be done to make the system more resilient, and that is what EPRI is trying to do through the Climate READi initiative.

Please tell us what the Climate READi framework is and what we should expect from it?

Morgan Scott: For years, the energy industry has been effective at responding to extreme weather events – working to restore power service to communities as quickly as possible. However, this is a reactive approach.

As one-in-50 or one-in-100-year extreme weather events increase in frequency, EPRI is actively working with stakeholders to strengthen the energy sector’s collective approach to managing climate risk to the electric grid and generation. In spring 2022, EPRI launched Climate READi (REsilience and ADaptation initiative), convening global thought leaders and industry stakeholders to develop a common framework to address this challenge. The framework can help energy companies comprehensively evaluate the vulnerability of their power systems and prioritize investments to better manage the impacts of extreme weather.

Implementing grid resilience strategies, rather than waiting to react to extreme weather events, can help to avoid or reduce outage duration and overall costs for response, repair, and recovery, a win for both utilities and customers.

The Climate READi public framework produced from this effort will be a first-of-its-kind effort that will embody one of the most comprehensive, integrated approaches to physical climate risk assessment. The framework—broken out into three workstreams—will enable energy companies, regulators, and other stakeholders to use science-informed insights in a more consistent way to better understand, plan for, and disclose future global power system challenges. Each workstream will be worked on simultaneously, scheduled to be completed in 2025. Read Morgan’s complete interview here.

The importance of being intentional and selective in making commitments. It’s easy to say yes. But being thoughtful about selecting activities that truly drive value and move the needle on progress is critical to success. We have a huge task ahead of us, building this Climate READi framework, but we’re focused on what needs to be done as we work with stakeholders, and are excited about what’s ahead. Learn more about Climate READi here: Climate READi (epri.com).

Expert View

PRC-005 Tip

Steve Dixon

Sr. Project Manager

“PRC-005 is the NERC standard that protects and maintains the reliability of the Bulk Electrical System. Any generation operator that has a NERC registry is bound by PRC-005 to maintain their protective system. This includes sudden pressure relays as well as control circuitry, the batteries that maintain the DC control circuitry, communications, alarm paths, and all current or potential transformers. PRC-005 encompasses everything that has to do with the protective equipment and components that protect the BES.”

For the full the tip, click here.

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Information Overload

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Certrec Market Research Polls

Top Ten Wind Farms in the United States Ranked by Installed Capacity

In 2021, the U.S. wind industry installed 13,413 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity. This brought the cumulative total to 135,886 MW. This new wind capacity places the U.S. as having the second highest installed capacity, behind China. The Global Wind Energy Council measures that global wind power capacity is now up to 743 GW. This helps avoid over 1.1 billion tons of CO2 – globally. To see Certrec’s market research on the largest U.S wind farms, ranked by installed capacity, click here.

January Poll Insights

What do you think is the biggest benefit of using robotics or drones in utilities - Certrec Newsletter

Last month, we asked our audience what they think are the biggest benefits of using robotics and drones in utilities. The results of this poll show that concern for human safety is a top priority for utilities. According to our market research, 62.4 percent of respondents believe that the biggest benefit is reduced risk of harm to humans. Streamlining the inspection process for utilities was ranked as the second biggest benefit with 24.8 percent of the vote. Monitoring equipment health for utilities was ranked third with 12.9 percent of the vote.

As advances in artificial intelligence and edge computing allow for these machines to become increasingly autonomous, utility companies can continue to accomplish even more while reducing risks to labor. For more information on the benefits of using robotics in utilities, click here.

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January Industry Updates

Freeport Gets U.S. ok to Begin Steps to Restart LNG Plant in Texas
Freeport LNG, the second-biggest U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, got approval from federal regulators on Thursday to take early steps to restart…
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2023 US Power Sector Outlook
2023 promises to be another busy year for the U.S. energy transition as companies, regulators and other stakeholders move to implement the Inflation Reduc…
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Entergy Texas Named a Top Utility in Economic Development for 15 Years
Entergy Texas remained a major player for economic growth for the region by working closely with community partners to support the local economy in the…
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Amazon Remains Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy

Amazon announced Monday it retained its position as the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, a title it has held since 2020, by purchasing a record…
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Highlights from DistribuTECH 2023

Check out Some of the Highlights from this Year's DistribuTECh

Industry Gathering — Recently, Certrec attended DistribuTECH’s transmission and distribution event. DistribuTECH International includes educational workshops and showcases the latest technological advancements made in improving grid reliability, resiliency, cyber security, and digitization.

Planar Offers Digital Display Solutions For Mission Critical Environments

Video Interview — Planar’s Senior Sales Director, Tim DeLaere, discusses how utilities can benefit from using Planar’s Direct View LED display solution.
Click here to watch the interview

Fortress Information Security Offers Cyber Security Solutions for the Supply Chain

Video Interview — Fortress’ Vice President of Energy and Supply Chain Sales, Matt Downey, explains how the company can reduce the risk of unintentional vulnerabilities for utilities caused by vendors.
Click here to watch the interview

Certrec News

6- Certrec Manages Production of NuScale’s Groundbreaking Reactor’s Standard Design Approval Application - Press Release - Featured Image- Certrec
Certrec Manages Production of NuScale’s Groundbreaking Reactor’s Standard Design Approval Application

Customer Achievement — Recently, NuScale Power (NuScale) submitted a second Standard Design Approval (SDA) application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its updated small modular reactor (SMR) design. NuScale’s SMR remains the only design to be certified by the NRC. Certrec’s digitization solutions streamlined the process for NuScale’s small modular reactor design, saving time and money…
Click here to read more

Certrec has Joined the American Clean Power Association to Help Drive Expansion of Green Energy - Certrec Newsletter
Certrec has Joined the American Clean Power Association to Help Drive Expansion of Green Energy

Driving Green Energy — Certrec is pleased to announce its membership with American Clean Power. As a member of this association, Certrec has already joined several working committees to advocate for clean power in Texas and the Midwest and for regulatory compliance…
Click here to read more

Webinar Why are Power Plants so Vulnerable Understanding Cybersecurity Threats within Utilities - Certrec Newsletter
Webinar: Why are Power Plants so Vulnerable? Understanding Cybersecurity Threats within Utilities

Educating the Industry — Last month, Certrec’s Fas Mosleh presented some of the biggest cyber threats currently targeting utilities. This webinar included examples of attacks on utilities that have happened in recent years and action steps to prevent future breaches. As cyber-attacks from nation-state and domestic threats increase, it is important that power plants meet these threats to avoid costly reputational and equipment damage…
Click here to watch the full webinar

Certrec White Papers

White Paper - The Business Value of NERC Compliance Program Management - Certrec
The Business Value of NERC Compliance Program Management

New White Paper — NERC compliance program management is a highly specialized area of competence. It requires numerous standards to be followed and evidence to be tracked and audited to prove correct regulatory adherence.
Click here to download the full white paper

Top 10 NERC Audit Tips and What to Watch Out for - Certrec Newsletter
Top 10 NERC Audit Tips and What to Watch Out for

New White Paper — NERC audits can be important to the reputation and the valuation of a power plant and the credibility of its management team. Audit failures mean that NERC can require extensive remediation to bring these systems back into compliance. This white paper features insights and words of wisdom from a few of Certrec’s compliance experts who have experienced hundreds of NERC audits over the years.
Click here to download the full white paper

Cyber Security Critical Infrastructure Threats and Examples - White Paper & Presentation - Certrec
Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Threats and Examples

New White Paper — According to Check Point Research, the utilities sector faces an average of 59 attack attempts per organization every week. The examples in this white paper are meant to advance the reader’s understanding of how critical infrastructure such as power plants, under the scrutiny of the NRC or NERC, may be attacked by unsavory threat actors, many of them from outside of North America.
Click here to download the full white paper

Upcoming Industry Events

  • Carbon Capture Technology Expo
    Jun. 28-29, 2023 — Houston, TX, at the NRG Centre
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Meet Certrec at These Events

  • Inter Solar North America  2023
    Feb. 14-16, 2023 — Long Beach, CA, at the Long Beach Convention Center
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  • PowerGen 2023
    Feb. 21-23, 2023 — Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center
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  • RE+ Texas
    Apr. 5-6, 2023 — Austin, TX, at the JW Marriott Austin
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Sign Up For Certrec's Free Webinars

  • Why are Power Plants so Vulnerable? Understanding Cybersecurity Threats within Utilities
    Feb. 24, 2023 — Webinar
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  • Cutting Costs for Your Plant Using AI and Machine Learning – Featuring Fischer Block
    Mar. 02, 2023 — Webinar
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  • Cutting Costs for Your Plant Using AI and Machine Learning – Featuring Fischer Block
    Mar. 16, 2023 — Webinar
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