Texans Warned of ‘Rolling Blackouts’ if EPA Clean Power Rule is Implemented
A business group is warning today that the controversial Clean Power Plan presented last month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could leave Texas customers with rolling blackouts, and no electricity when they turn on the light switch, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
the group Balanced Energy for Texas says implementing of the Clean Power Plan will result in at least 4,000 megawatts of coal-fired electricity generation capacity being removed from the market before utilities have had the opportunity to replace it with cleaner burning fuels.
“This could post challenges for maintaining grid reliability and these impacts are likely to intensify and occur earlier when the effects of the Clean Power Plan are combined with other environmental regulations,” Balance Energy general council Mike Nasi said.
Nasi and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas warn the ‘forced shut downs’ of coal fired plans could result in ‘pderids of reduced system-wide resource adequacy and localized transmission reliability issues.’
But CPS Energy disputes the claim that power shortages loom due to the EPA action.
“Texas is on a good path regardless of the EPA ruling due to our investment in renewables,” CPS Energy’s Chris Eugster said on Twitter.
Indeed, CPS Energy plans to retire its largest coal fired generating station, the Dealy Unit, by 2018, and has already invested in a natural gas fired facility to replace it.
In addition, CPS Energy has been a leader in bringing both solar and wind power on line.
Nasi says there is no indication that state will be able to handle the cuts in power generation capacity, especially at a time when the state’s population is booming and the economy is strong, meaning both homes and employers are operating full time.
“Reduced system-wide adequacy and localized transmission reliability issues mean statewide rolling blackouts and that in some regions of Texas, Texans will consistently go to flip a light switch or lower the air conditioning dial only to find that nothing turns on,” he said.
Nasi says there will also be a ‘baseline’ of 16% increases in the cost of electricity, but warns of ‘dramatic additional costs’ to consumers as the power grid struggles to bring more expensive clean power on line.
“There will be dramatic additional costs associated witht he rule that will add to that percentage,” he said. “Specifically, transmission, fuel, ancillary services and premature shutdown of valuable assets are flagged as areas that will result in additional costs to consumers.”
He pegs the cost to Texans of the new EPA rule at $600 million.
Balanced Energy for Texas says the ‘market’ should be allowed to work, and the same end will be achieved without the disruptions caused by government intervention.
“If the market is allowed to work, older fossil units will be retired as investments and outstanding obligations are paid off and ratepayers will not be exposed to drastic rate increases often triggered by premature retirmements and stranded investments,” Nasi said. “Texas has no megawatts to spare, and the state must be thoughtful about how we ensure reliable, affordable electricity for growing demand. Thankfully, our grid is in the hands of experts like the PUCT, and not the EPA or those who would have us hand over control to them.”
See the article here.
- On October 19, 2015