Review of the Recent Frequency Performance of the Eastern, Western and ERCOT Interconnections

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The reliable operation of an electric power system depends on careful management of the balance between generation and load to ensure that system frequency is maintained within narrow bounds around a scheduled value. Yet, maintaining frequency at the scheduled value is challenging because the load served is continuously changing, and occasionally, events such as the sudden loss of a large generation plant or large amount of load, cause frequency to deviate abruptly. This report reviews the recent history of frequency performance for all three U.S. interconnections: Eastern, Western, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The review is based on data collected by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The review focuses on frequency response, which measures the performance of the interconnections immediately following sudden, large imbalances between load and generation. Trends in frequency response are presented and preliminary efforts are made to relate frequency response to other aspects of frequency performance and to examine aspects of the methods used to calculate frequency response.

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