'Federal regulators rejected Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to rewrite energy market regulations that would subsidize aging coal and nuclear power plants in the name of “grid reliability.”
On Monday, all five members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted unanimously to reject a proposal from the Department of Energy that would require grid operators to provide cost recovery to power plants that keep a 90-day fuel supply on site, which is something that usually only applies to coal and nuclear plants.
The proposed rule would require electricity markets to pay plants for all costs and all the power they produce, whether those plants are needed or not.
In September, Perry issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) arguing for an “all of the above” approach to energy. The proposal stated that the “premature retirement” of aging coal and nuclear power plants has has harmed the nation’s energy resilience.
Perry’s proposal said the regulations would make the power grid more reliable and resilient in the event of “disruptions caused by emergencies, extreme weather, or natural or man-made disasters.”
Specifically, it cited the 2014 Polar Vortex, when cold temperatures caused an increased demand for residential heating that one electricity market could not handle. The winter storm nearly caused blackouts in Northeastern several states, and Perry said the loss of generation capacity could have been “catastrophic” without a number of coal and nuclear plants that had been scheduled for retirement.'
Read more: Regulators kill Trump proposal to subsidize coal & nuclear plants
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17 October 2015
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