EPA Setting Stage for Electricity Blackouts in Texas....too

Four Corners Power Plant
Fort Worth Star-Telegram -The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, operator of the state's power grid, said in a report today that a new federal environmental regulation would reduce generating capacity and put the grid "at increasing risk of emergency events," including rotating power outages. The Jan. 1 implementation date for the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, designed to curb air pollution from power plants, leaves ERCOT with "an extremely truncated period" in which to assess the impact of the rule and "no realistic opportunity to take steps that could even partially offset the substantial losses of available operating capacity," it said. The report outlined three scenarios, with even the "best-case scenario" expected to result in the loss of an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 megawatts of generating capacity during peak consumption periods, ERCOT said.
"Had this incremental reduction been in place in 2011, ERCOT would have experienced rotating outages during days in August," the report said. Rotating power outages are implemented as an emergency measure when electricity demand is close to exceeding power supplies from generators. Peak power consumption hit record levels that exceeded 65,000 megawatts on several days of exceptionally high temperatures in August, causing ERCOT to implement initial emergency measures and putting it close to instituting rotating outages. The Environmental Protection Agency, in a statement responding to the ERCOT report, said Texas "has an ample range of cost-effective emission reductions options" for complying with the rule "without threatening electricity reliability or the continued operation of coal-burning units." Read full story here: News New Mexico



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