Explained: Reliability of the Current Power Grid

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Maintaining reliability of the bulk power system, which supplies and transmits electricity, is a constant focus of electric grid planners, operators, and regulators. Based on the standards set by power system reliability entities, the U.S. grid has been and continues to be very reliable. Over the past decade the average U.S. customer has only experienced about 15 minutes of outages per year due to supply limitations, with most of those outages occurring due to failures on the distribution system. However, there have been a few notable incidents in recent years tied to extreme weather events. The fact sheet provides and introduction to reliability of the bulk power system in the U.S.
Original languageAmerican English
PublisherNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-6A40-87297


  • power grid
  • reliability
  • renewable energy
  • resource adequacy


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