Power Companies Agree to New Reliability Standards

As I reported back in September, WV’s two Ohio-based power companies have agreed to let their WV subsidiaries submit to reliability standards in WV.  Last week, the companies submitted their final agreed settlement to the WV PSC.  Pam Kasey, over at Grounded, has an excellent explanation of what these standards will and won’t do.

Don’t get too excited though, as Pam points out:

It has to be noted that events like the June 29 derecho and Hurricane Sandy are considered extraordinary: Interruptions caused by “major events”  — those that exceed reasonable design or operational limits of the system — are according to the rules not included in the calculation of the reliability indices [that are used to measure performance].

That kind of sums up the PSC’s attitude.  Real reliability is outside “reasonable design or operational limits of the system.” In other words, if West Virginians want reliability during storms, you are on your own.  Fortunately, we now have the ability to invest in our own solar power and battery storage systems that do provide that reliability, even if regulators and power companies won’t.

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