The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is over-reacting with its concerns about grid reliability under the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, according to a study released last week by a coalition of renewable energy, smart grid, and energy technology companies.
Similar questions came up last year in correspondence from U.S. legislators to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
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But the Advanced Energy Economy Institute is countering that NERC “overstated possible grid operating challenges arising from U.S. EPA’s plan to reduce power-sector emissions,” E&E Publishing reports. “Following a review of the reliability concerns raised and the options for mitigating them, we find that compliance with the CPP is unlikely to materially affect reliability,” states the report, produced by the Brattle Group.
“We think NERC has not taken into consideration a number of factors that would substantially mitigate NERC’s concerns,” including steps that utilities can take to reduce emissions without threatening blackouts, said lead author Jurgen Weiss.
He acknowledged that “NERC’s objective is to maintain reliability. So anything that could be seen as a harm to reliability needs to be raised, one way of the other. The regional system operators by and large get blamed if there is a reliability issue, so they, too, are very conservative about embracing rapid change.”
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