Grid Security Project
The nation’s power grid is at a crossroads – arguably in peril. As demands on the grid continue to grow the national electricity infrastructure is becoming less robust and reliable.
A reliable grid delivering abundant, affordable electricity is perhaps the most critical infrastructure needed for economic development and national security. In fact, the National Academy of Engineering ranked electrification the top engineering achievement of the 20th Century – ahead of automobiles, airplanes, and computers.
According to the Department of Energy, the U.S. must expand the electricity transmission system by 60% by 2030 to meet projected demand, which will be driven in large part by the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Yet more than 70% of the nation’s grid transmission lines and power transformers are over 25 years old. Power outages in the US are becoming more frequent and last longer. Per the Energy Information Administration, the mix of power sources has diversified in recent decades away from fossil fuels but not risen in recent years to keep pace with demand. As the world shifts to a decarbonized future a lack of adequate transmission jeopardizes America’s ability to bring power from wind and solar rich areas to population centers.
SAFE’s Grid Security Project provides policy analysis and recommendations to reverse these troubling trends and build out the national electrical infrastructure. More reliable and affordable power will be necessary to support the mass adoption of electric vehicles and enable America’s reindustrialization.
Our major goals include:
- A national electric transmission grid that accommodates renewable resources to transmit MWhs from wind and solar rich areas to markets and load centers;
- A resource generation mix that maintains adequate reserve margins and necessary fuel assurance and reliability to generate power to meet market demand as well as future load growth; and
- A market structure that compensates generators for their performance in meeting peak demand.
The Grid Security Project will pursue:
- Active engagement with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy (DoE), and state commissions to support a reliable grid throughout the mid-transition to a net-zero carbon future;
- Ardent support of market reforms to ensure resource adequacy and adequate compensation for generator performance and availability; and
- Support for additional cyber and physical security standards to ensure a safe and reliable grid.
The Grid Security Project will publish a series of reports this year on different facets of America’s electrical infrastructure. They collectively represent a call to action providing meaningful recommendations to address the threats to our national transmission system.
Meet Thomas Coleman
Thomas Coleman is an experienced leader and policy expert in the energy industry and power transmission grid. Coleman comes to SAFE from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) where, as the Chief Technical Advisor, he worked with industry and stakeholders to assess, report on, and provide system planning and policy recommendations to ensure the reliability of the North American Bulk Power System.
Coleman also led initiatives for the NERC Reliability Issues Steering Committee, identifying and providing solution sets for grid reliability and security risks as well as efforts around long term, short term and historical reliability assessments. Mr. Coleman joined NERC in 2014. Before joining NERC, Mr. Coleman traded power and natural gas commodities and directed long term origination at JP Morgan and Williams Energy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and his MBA from Vanderbilt University.