Wednesday, November 30, 2011

EPA's MACT mess makes for less power

Coal barge, Guttenberg, Iowa
Much of my Midwest is powered by coal. But the EPA's Utility MACT and Cross State Air Pollution rules threaten to turn the switch off on many coal plants.

From Energy Biz:
The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc. has again sounded a warning that new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air emissions regulations will strain system capacity as coal-fired units are shut down by power generators to meet the standards.
"Reliability in the Midwest will be severely challenged throughout the implementation period of the proposed rules," said MISO. "The compliance time allowed by the proposed rule and the time required to accomplish the installation of new control equipment or capacity replacement is exactly the same, meaning owners of all these units must remove them from service simultaneously leaving inadequate generation resources to sustain reliable electricity supply."

Around 62,000 MW of generation cannot be removed from service simultaneously without interrupting loads in the region, MISO noted. In order for MISO to meet reliability obligations, generator outage requests will be denied to maintain adequate supplies, it said.

MISO is a regional transmission organization charged with the operation and administration of the wholesale electricity markets in thirteen Midwestern states and one Canadian province.
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