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Winter blackouts could hit Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, regional grid operator warns


Geee

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2552483Washington Examiner:

A repeat of last winter's deep freeze could lead to electricity blackouts in a clutch of states spanning the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic as proposed environmental regulations propel a switch toward natural gas-fired power.

 

PJM Interconnection, a regional grid operator, proposed new measures aimed at ensuring it doesn't again flirt with losing 22 percent of its electricity capacity as it did during the "polar vortex" in early January. Echoing the concerns of Republicans and some centrist Democrats who have admonished the Obama administration for rules that would restrain the use of coal-fired power, PJM noted the situation could become more dire under a "rapid transition" from coal to natural gas.

 

"Last winter’s generator performance — when up to 22 percent of PJM capacity was unavailable due to cold weather-related problems — highlighted a potentially significant reliability issue," it said. "PJM’s analysis shows that a comparable rate of generator outages in the winter of 2015/2016, coupled with extremely cold temperatures and expected coal retirements, would likely prevent PJM from meeting its peak load requirements."

 

The 2016 timetable is key because that is when new regulations designed to limit mercury and air toxics go into effect. Those rules will take many older, dirtier coal- and oil-fired power plants offline in the following years. The EPA says the rule will deliver $90 billion in health benefits and prevent 11,000 premature deaths annually once fully implemented at a $9.6 billion annual cost to business.Scissors-32x32.png


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We will see how long the coal regulations last if the NE has power shortage because of it.

Read this morning that 60% of Wisconsin's energy comes from coal.

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