Author: Source: Datetime: 2018-05-09 12:14:29
Ensuring the continued reliable operation of large-capacity power systems at the lower levels of the North American power grid is the result of decades of continuous processes. After each major blackout restoration work was completed, autopsy forensics analysis has made extensive progress in reliability-related standards and processes.
After reviewing the FERC / NERC joint report on the black-start capability of the grid in May 2018, it has been significant for me to observe these improvements over more than 50 years. Recalling the degree of integration of our grid and grid-related plans, in retrospect, the complexity of the FERC/NERC report makes the low-level black start capability of the 1960s seem unbelievable.
Consider what happened at the Lavenswood Power Station a few months after the major North East power outage occurred on November 9, 1965. The 1,000 MW facility in Queens, New York was the largest fuel power plant at the time.
When the cascading failure of a power outage entered the factory in 1965, due to no-load power supply, the factory automatically tripped, and the only backup power source for the plant's auxiliary equipment was a line of standby diesel generators to the Queens' supply line or other systems we now take for granted. why? Because it assumes that the grid is always on, and it can enable the black start of the power plant. In contrast, because the grid was shut down and the power plant tripped, the generator/turbine unit had no backup power to run the lube pump, so its 60 tons of metal rotating at 3600 rpm did not experience catastrophic failure.
Fast forward for more than 50 years until now, this arrogance is no longer obvious. The North American regional black-start recovery plan involves a complex sequence of so-called "initiated paths" for each operating entity in the NERC area and is associated with a commitment contract with a black-start sequence and a next-generation startup operator.
The new FERC / NERC report provides an update on these program evaluations and collaborative research. These program evaluations and collaborative studies are reports of the regional operating entities that comprise the North American Electric Reliability Commission (NERC) and have been conducted in conjunction with FERC since 2014. It also records the availability of further results for research and testing of blacklisted resources and points out the prospects for alternative strategies for related resources.
In short, as the grid develops, its recovery plan must also proceed from the perspective of predicting black-start conditions as well as nonstandard emergencies and vulnerabilities, while identifying methods and practices that can be used to improve the participating entities' recovery plans and training.
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