Grid Operators, Are You Ready for Solar Cycle 24?
We're not talking about a new electric bicycle, we're talking Space Weather! Geomagnetic Disturbances! The biggest fireworks display in the Solar System! Solar
Cycle 24 and Solar Max in
the Year 2011!! Even in 2008 at solar minimum we are not completely safe. Major storms disruptive to Transmission Grid Operations can literally occur any time over the entire 11 year solar cycle and forecasters predict this will be a major solar cycle.
Open Access requirements compound the already difficult task system operators face. Reliable operation of the Grid is paramount, but Availability of Transfer Capability is important in the highly volatile Electric Energy Marketplace as well. Will your operators know what to do when NOAA issues their next major storm (Ap>30) alert?.. Huh!! By the way, did you know that at a recent Solar Max (1991), nearly 20% of the entire year was under these alert conditions?
Risk Management is difficult: Being caught off-guard for the Big Storm is certainly a risk to avoid, but always overreacting for the many hours of minor storm levels can be too restrictive to the market and Costs Everybody!
Now You Can Do
Something About It!
Accurate forecasts of a storm's onset, duration, and magnitude are now possible. Further, the forecast is utility client specific and "To-the-POINT"(now get estimates of GIC flow in the grid, MVAR demands, and no more fuzzy A & K indices). This provides the all-important "Lead Time"for Severe Events and Client-Specific Sensitivity for "Proportionate
& Pro-Active response" for Grid Operation