Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability

OE Requests Comments on Potential Creation of a Reserve of Large Power Transformers

July 9, 2015

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Today, the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) issued a Request for Information (RFI), asking for comments on the possible establishment of a reserve of large power transformers that would support the nation’s bulk power system. Large power transformers (LPTs), which are a critical component of the power grid, are a concern because transformer failures can interrupt electricity service to a large number of customers and replacing one quickly could be difficult. Today’s RFI responds to the recommendation in the Energy Department’s Quadrennial Energy Review to evaluate a national initiative to mitigate the risks associated with the loss of transformers.  The QER recommended:

"Analyze the policies, technical specifications, and logistical and program structures needed to mitigate the risks associated with loss of transformers:  As part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to develop a formal national strategy for strengthening the security and resilience of the entire electric grid for threats and hazards (planned for release in 2015), DOE should lead—in coordination with DHS and other Federal agencies, states, and industry—an initiative to mitigate the risks associated with the loss of transformers. Approaches for mitigating this risk should include the development of one or more transformer reserves through a staged process."

The QER also states that any initiative with respect to mitigating the risks take into account the “significant efforts already underway by industry to share transformers and parts (p. 2-40).”  As the Department embarks on implementing this recommendation, the services provided by Grid Assurance, LLC, as well as other existing and newly identified approaches will contribute to this goal. 

Collaboration is vital as we continue to address this important aspect of helping to ensure the reliability and resiliency of the nation’s electricity delivery system. For more information, please refer to the complete Request for Information which is available online for downloading.