US Power Grid May Become Unreliable This Summer, Watchdog Warns

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times

Parts of America could face difficulties in meeting electricity demand during the summer season, with renewable energy sources like wind and solar power posing a potential risk to reliable power supply, according to a report by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).

The NERC report classifies several parts of the country as facing an “elevated” risk of summer electricity reliability for the upcoming June-September period.

Elevated risk means there is “potential for insufficient operating reserves” when the region faces above-normal demand conditions. Such regions include parts of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Illinois, and Iowa. The determination of elevated risk is based on various factors, including potential low wind or solar energy condions that could lead to a lower electricity supply.

The North American power bulk power system (BPS) is made up of six regional entities—Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO), Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC), ReliabilityFirst (RF), SERC Reliability Corporation (SERC), Texas Reliability Entity (Texas RE), Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC)—with elevated risk upcoming in certain regions.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which manages the electricity capacity market, operates in 15 U.S. states, including Texas, Illinois, Montana, Arkansas, and Kentucky. MISO is expected to have “sufficient resources” to meet normal summer peak demand, the NERC report said.

However, if MISO were to face above-normal peak demand conditions at a time when wind and solar output is lower than expected, it could be “challenging” for the transmission organization to meet demand.

“Wind generator performance during periods of high demand is a key factor in determining whether there is sufficient electricity supply on the system or if external (non-firm) supply assistance is required to maintain reliability.”

The Texas RE ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) interconnection, which handles approximately 90 percent of Texas’ electrical load, faces potential emergency conditions in summer evening hours “when solar generation begins to ramp down.”

Under certain grid conditions, power transfers from South Texas to the San Antonio region have to be restricted, which contributes to “elevated risk” of supply. Such grid conditions occur when “demand is high and wind and solar output is low in specific areas, straining the transmission system.”

In areas serviced by the WECC covering 14 states, including California and New Mexico, challenges to electricity reliability are estimated to be under “above-normal demand and low-resource conditions.” Such a situation happens when there is low solar output or below-normal imports, the report said.

Activist Post is Google-Free — We Need Your Support
Contribute Just $1 Per Month at Patreon or SubscribeStar

Commenting on the NERC report, Michelle Bloodworth, the CEO of America’s Power, a partnership of industries involved in producing electricity from coal, said the assessment reveals that the American electricity grid is “increasingly reliant on weather-dependent sources of electricity” like solar and wind power.

This puts “one-third of the country at elevated risk of blackouts this summer,” she said, adding that such risks are only poised to increase because of regulations imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Delayed coal plant retirements are playing a key role in supporting grid reliability. However, this is only a temporary band-aid because EPA regulations will cause more coal retirements that cannot be delayed. These regulations, especially the recently announced Carbon Rule, increase the chance of blackouts,” Ms. Bloodworth said.

“With electricity demand exploding, our country needs a strategy for ensuring a healthy long-term electricity supply that doesn’t depend on the sun and the wind and is not dictated by EPA regulations.”

The EPA backs renewable energy, noting it “produces no greenhouse gas emissions” like fossil fuels and reduces some types of air pollution. Renewable can also reduce America’s “dependence on imported fuels.”

Last month, the EPA announced $7 billion in grants under the “Solar for All” scheme to deliver residential solar projects to more than 900,000 homes across the United States. The grants are awarded to 60 selectees.

“The selectees will advance solar energy initiatives across the country, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, saving $8 billion in energy costs for families, delivering cleaner air, and combating climate change,” EPA administrator Michael S. Regan said.

New EPA Rule

The NERC report comes as the EPA announced a suite of final rules on April 25 aimed at reducing pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants.

The new standards require all coal-fired plants that intend to run in the long term as well as all new baseload gas-fired plants to curb 90 percent of their carbon pollution.

The rules also tighten the coal plant emissions standard for toxic metals by 67 percent and mandate a 70 percent reduction in the emissions standard for mercury from existing lignite-fired sources. Additionally, rules regarding wastewater discharge at coal plants and the management of coal ash are strengthened.

The EPA claims the new standards deliver on the Biden administration’s commitment to protect the health of all communities. The agency said the rules will deliver “hundreds of billions of dollars in net benefits.”

“The regulatory impact analysis projects reductions of 1.38 billion metric tons of carbon pollution overall through 2047, which is equivalent to preventing the annual emissions of 328 million gasoline cars, or to nearly an entire year of emissions from the entire U.S. electric power sector. It also projects up to $370 billion in climate and public health net benefits over the next two decades,” the EPA said.

The agency also estimates that the rules will avoid up to 1,200 premature deaths, 1,900 cases of asthma onset, 360,000 instances of asthma symptoms, and 57,000 lost workdays in 2035 alone.

“By developing these standards in a clear, transparent, inclusive manner, EPA is cutting pollution while ensuring that power companies can make smart investments and continue to deliver reliable electricity for all Americans,” Mr. Regan said.

The energy regulations have been criticized by Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a trade association of electrical cooperatives.

“The path outlined by the EPA is unlawful, unrealistic, and unachievable,” he said. “It undermines electric reliability and poses grave consequences for an already stressed electric grid. This barrage of new EPA rules ignores our nation’s ongoing electric reliability challenges and is the wrong approach at a critical time for our nation’s energy future.”

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) called EPA rules proof that President Biden has “doubled down” on his plans to shut down the “backbone of America’s electric grid.”

“Electricity demand is set to skyrocket thanks in part to the EPA’s own electric vehicles mandate, and unfortunately, Americans are already paying higher utility bills under President Biden,” she said.

“Despite all this, the administration has chosen to press ahead with its unrealistic climate agenda that threatens access to affordable, reliable energy for households and employers across the country.”

Sourced from ZeroHedge

Become a Patron!
Or support us at SubscribeStar
Donate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Minds, MeWe, Twitter – X, Gab, and What Really Happened.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription

Be the first to comment on "US Power Grid May Become Unreliable This Summer, Watchdog Warns"

Leave a comment