The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan could take 60 gigawatts of mostly coal-fired generating capacity offline over the next few years, the CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation told a conference last week.
A NERC study to be released April 20 will “show such retirements could create shortages in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the Northeast Power Coordination Council, and the Southwest Power Pool,” McGraw Hill’s Platts financial wire reported. That means the carbon cuts in the Clean Power Plan “appear to be infeasible,” Gerry Cauley said.
“If there’s a reliability issue that comes up, we can’t have an environmental rule that trumps reliability,” he added. “We don’t want to put companies in a position where it has to choose between violating an environmental rule or violating a reliability standard.”
During the conference, the American Wind Energy Association’s Susan Williams Sloan “pointed out that several states, such as Iowa and South Dakota, get relatively high percentages of their electricity from wind resources,” Platts reported. Wind has “proven to help reliability, particularly during cold emergencies when fossil-fueled power plants are incapacitated for some reason, Sloan said.”
Earlier this year, a coalition of renewable energy, smart grid, and energy technology companies countered that NERC had “overstated possible grid operating challenges arising from U.S. EPA’s plan to reduce power-sector emissions,” E&E Publishing reported at the time. (h/t to Midwest Energy News for pointing us to this story)