NRECA’s Matheson: NERC Winter Reliability Assessment Again Highlights Looming Reliability Challenges

ARLINGTON, Va. – National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson today issued the following statement on the newly released North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) 2023-24 Winter Reliability Assessment. NERC is the not-for profit regulatory authority focused on assuring grid reliability. 

“This forecast again shows that our nation faces looming grid reliability challenges while demand for electricity continues to soar,” Matheson said. “That’s unacceptable and should be cause for concern for all Americans. To avoid catastrophe, policymakers must recognize their role in threatening the reliability of the grid and take steps to help prevent rolling blackouts before it’s too late.”

For years, NERC has warned that electric reliability is in jeopardy and the risk of rolling blackouts is rising. The organization recently listed energy policy as a newfound reliability risk.

“Policies like EPA’s recent power plant proposal will magnify today’s reliability challenges with grave consequences for an already stressed grid,” said Matheson. “I don’t think EPA thought about electric reliability as it drafted this rule. This unlawful, unrealistic and unachievable proposal will result in less electricity, more power outages and higher costs for American families and businesses.

“The importance of keeping the lights on transcends party lines. Reliable electricity is an issue that impacts all Americans – and is one that lawmakers in both parties must work seriously to address. As our country looks to a future that depends on electricity to power more of the economy, it is vital that we work together to avoid harming the electric grid that will be foundational for the future.”

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing nearly 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $15 billion annually in their communities.