The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Professor Apt's seminar will be based on his recent paper, "Resource adequacy implications of temperature-dependent electric generator availability," to be published in Applied Energy in March.
Current grid resource adequacy modeling assumes generator failures are both independent and invariant to ambient conditions. We evaluate the resource adequacy policy implications of correlated generator failures in the PJM Interconnection by making use of observed temperature-dependent forced outage rates. Correlated failures pose substantial resource adequacy risk, increasing PJM’s required reserve margin from 15.9% to 22.9% in the 2018/2019 delivery year. However, PJM actually procured a 26.6% reserve margin in this delivery year, translating to excess capacity payments of $315 million and an implied value of lost load of approximately $700,000/MWh, a figure two orders of magnitude greater than typically used in operational contexts. Capacity requirements vary by month, with more than 95% of loss-of-load risk accruing in July. Setting monthly capacity targets could reduce annual PJM procurement by approximately 16%. We examine the resource adequacy implications of the ongoing replacement of nuclear and coal in PJM with combined-cycle gas generators, finding moderate benefits: approximately a 2% reduction in capacity requirements. We identify modest resource adequacy risks from potential future climate scenarios, modeled as temperature increases of 1 and 2 °C relative to our study period. Holding loads fixed, these scenarios increase capacity requirements by approximately 0.5% and 1.5%, respectively.
Jay Apt is a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and in the CMU Department of Engineering and Public Policy. He is the Co-Director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center and Director of the RenewElec (renewable electricity) project. Professor Apt received an A.B. in physics from Harvard College in 1971 and a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Metcalf Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to engineering.