Meteorological Drivers of Resource Adequacy Failures in Current and High Renewable Western U.S. Power Systems

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 4 of this Preprint.

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Srihari Sundar, Michael Craig, Ashley Payne, David Brayshaw, Flavio Lehner


Power system resource adequacy (RA), or its ability to continually balance energy supply and demand, underpins human and economic health. How meteorology affects RA and RA failures, particularly with increasing penetrations of renewables, is poorly understood. We characterize large-scale circulation patterns that drive RA failures in the Western U.S. at increasing wind and solar penetrations by integrating power system and synoptic meteorology methods. At up to 60% renewable penetration and across analyzed weather years, three high pressure patterns drive nearly all RA failures. The highest pressure anomaly is the dominant driver, accounting for 20-100% of risk hours and 43-100% of cumulative risk at 60% renewable penetration. The three high pressure patterns exhibit positive surface temperature anomalies, mixed surface solar radiation anomalies, and negative wind speed anomalies across our region, which collectively increase demand and decrease supply. Our characterized meteorological drivers align with meteorology during the California 2020 rolling blackouts, indicating continued vulnerability of power systems to these impactful weather patterns as renewables grow.



Climate, Meteorology, Power and Energy, Risk Analysis


power system resource adequacy power system reliability, large-scale circulation patterns, meteorological drivers, Western Electricity Coordinating Council, capacity expansion, Self-Organizing Maps, power system resource adequacy, power system reliability


Published: 2022-08-31 04:51

Last Updated: 2023-10-12 10:59

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Code and data produced for this analysis will be available at a public repository soon.