Local public power leader lays out challenges and priorities to ensure a reliable electric grid in the future.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA [September 30, 2021]—Roy Jones, CEO of ElectriCities of North Carolina, testified today as part of a national panel of experts convened by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to discuss challenges to the reliability of the nation’s electric grid. Jones, testifying as one of nine experts invited by FERC to the virtual Reliability Technical Conference, spoke on behalf of public power communities nationwide, including the 89 community-owned electric systems in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia that are members of ElectriCities.
Jones addressed challenges facing the nation’s bulk electric grid, focusing on supply chain concerns, the industry’s evolving resource mix and its impact on resource adequacy, and the need for greater coordination between industry and government partners to promote reliability and circulate information regarding threats to the grid.
“Keeping the lights on during a dramatic change in the nation’s resource mix may be the single most important challenge of the mid-21st century for utility managers and state and federal regulators,” Jones said.
The challenge, he said, is attributable to the rapid shift away from centralized generation to non-synchronous resources, including renewables, battery storage, and other technologies. As this shift accelerates, industry and regulators must keep a close eye on resource adequacy and coordinate on flexible ramping and load-following resources, along with energy-assured generation. Jones stressed that while public power utilities continue to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, FERC must work concurrently to monitor and maintain grid reliability.
Jones serves as vice chairman of the member representatives committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the not-for-profit entity created in 1968 to reduce risks to the reliability and security of the continental electric grid. Jones also spoke on behalf of the Large Public Power Council, the Transmission Access Policy Study Group, and the American Public Power Association. APPA represents more than 2,000 public power systems that provide more than 15 percent of all retail electric sales and serve more than 49 million people.
Pertaining to supply chain, Jones said FERC must assist industry in pressing for additional government assistance to influence supplier cybersecurity practices.
“Vendors must take on supply chain security as a fundamental responsibility,” he said, urging electric industry and federal governmental partners to bring vendors to the table to find consensus on addressing the issues.
About the Large Public Power Council
LPPC is an association of the 26 largest state-owned and municipal utilities in the nation and represents the larger, asset-owning members of the public power sector. LPPC members are also members of APPA and own approximately 90% of the transmission assets owned by non-federal public power entities.
About the Transmission Access Policy Study Group
TAPS is an association of transmission-dependent utilities located in 35 states. It is an effective voice in the fight for open and equal transmission access and for strong protections against the exercise of market power in electric markets. TAPS supports vigorously competitive wholesale electric markets and a robust grid.
About the American Public Power Association
APPA is the national service organization representing the interests of not-for-profit, state, municipal and other locally owned electric utilities in the United States. More than 2,000 public power systems provide over 15% of all kilowatt-hours sales to ultimate customers and serve over 49 million people, doing business in every state except Hawaii.
# # #
About ElectriCities of North Carolina
ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc., is the membership organization that provides power supply and related critical services to over 90 community-owned electric systems in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia—collectively known as public power. ElectriCities manages the power supply for two power agencies in North Carolina and provides technical services to assist members in operating their electric distribution systems. ElectriCities also helps these locally owned and operated public power providers thrive today and in the future by delivering innovative services, including legislative, technical, communications, and economic development expertise.
Visit www.electricities.com to learn more about the benefits of public power and how ElectriCities helps communities keep the lights on through access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy.
VP, Communications, ElectriCities