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US Grid Operators Raise Concerns Over Biden’s Power Plant Crackdown

Major grid operators in the United States have expressed concerns over the Biden administration’s proposed crackdown on gas-fired power plants, warning that it could lead to significant power shortages and jeopardize grid reliability.

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The operators, responsible for providing power to millions of Americans, jointly filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), raising alarm about the potential consequences of the proposal.

The operators, including PJM Interconnection, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and Southwest Power Pool, pointed out that as renewable resources increase, the grid will need to rely more on generation capable of providing critical reliability attributes.

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Credits: DepositPhotos

They warned that the proposed crackdown on gas-fired plants, combined with retirements of dispatchable generation, could lead to concerning levels of grid reliability. Additionally, the operators highlighted concerns about the impact of the proposed rule on investments required to maintain existing units that provide essential attributes and grid services.

They also noted that if carbon capture technology doesn’t develop as quickly as anticipated, there could be a shortage of compliant generation, leading to potential power shortages. The EPA’s proposal, unveiled earlier this year, aims to regulate fossil fuel-fired power plant emissions as part of the administration’s broader climate agenda.

The plan would require plants to either utilize carbon capture technology or shut down, which could impact the nation’s electric generation derived from coal plants. Critics of the proposal, including trade groups and state coalitions, have argued that it is unrealistic and unachievable, raising concerns about its potential impact on power supply, reliability, and costs.

The debate underscores the challenges of transitioning to cleaner energy sources while maintaining grid stability and ensuring a consistent power supply.

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