Monday, December 29, 2014

If you like your electricity, you can keep it

The operator of America's largest electric utility grid frets that an overly ambitious schedule to close coal fired plants could leave its customers in the dark.

Bloomberg reports:
“PJM is concerned about having sufficient resources during the winter of 2015/2016, given planned environmental-related retirements and the record of generator unavailability last winter,” Ray Dotter, spokesman for PJM Interconnection LLC in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, said in a Dec. 22 e-mail. “PJM is checking with generation owners to see if any retirements can be delayed.”
The Obama administration and its EPA have been hell-bent on making it harder for coal plants to operate. Even tighter restrictions come into play in 2015. Meanwhile, construction of gas-fired replacement plants lags well behind the coal closures, and in some regions, there is insufficient pipeline infrastructure to sufficiently fuel gas-fired plants during peak winter demands.

Perhaps a touch of irony here, but it appears that progressive Democrat controlled "Blue States" will be hit first and hardest if/when the grid collapses from insufficient electric generation capacity.

While I live in the Southeast, I've begun household planning to cope with potential blackouts or brownouts, with primary emphasis on battery backup to keep Internet and VoiP phones operating during limited duration power outages. Folks living in the Northeast should probably think doubly hard about doing something similar.

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