The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) latest annual Electric Reliability Organisation (ERO) Reliability Risk Priorities Report, approved by the NERC Board of Trustees on August 17, 2023, provides a comprehensive analysis of key risks affecting the US Bulk Power System (BPS). 

The report identifies five major interconnected risks. Firstly, there’s a growing emphasis on energy policy, focusing on reducing carbon emissions and promoting electrification, necessitating closer coordination among stakeholders. Secondly, grid transformation, involving rapid integration of new energy resources, demands careful planning and infrastructure improvements. Thirdly, resilience against extreme events such as wildfires and hurricanes  require special assessments and preparedness measures. Fourthly,  protecting critical facilities from physical and cyber security risks, which are identified as key threats, requires strategic planning and the use of simulation methods. Lastly, critical interdependencies with infrastructure systems like gas pipelines and digital communications require further studies and standards development.

The report highlights energy policy as the most critical risk, emphasising its potential to drive rapid changes in BPS planning and operations, impacting both reliability and resilience. Consequently, the report highlights the importance of increased coordination and collaboration among policymakers, regulators, and BPS owners and operators to address this risk.

For more details, the report can be accessed here.