ERCOT says reliability at risk due to EPA rule

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) announced in July leaves the grid operator with "no realistic opportunity to take steps that could even partially mitigate" what it called the loss of "thousands of megawatts" of available operating capacity.

ERCOT made the statement as it released a report, “Impacts of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule on the ERCOT System,” requested by the state's Public Utility Commission in July.  

Based on information provided by the resource owners, ERCOT developed three scenarios of potential impacts from CSAPR:

The first scenario, derived from compliance plans of resource owners, indicates that ERCOT will experience a generation capacity reduction of around 3,000 MW during the off-peak months of March, April, October and November; and 1,200 to 1,400 MW during the other months of the year, including the peak load months of June, July and August.  
 
The second scenario incorporates the potential for increased unit maintenance outages due to daily dispatch of traditionally base-load coal units and results in a generation capacity reduction of around 3,000 MW during the off-peak months of March and April; 1,200 to 1,400 MW during the remainder of the first nine months of the year; and around 5,000 MW during the fall months of October, November and possibly into December.
 
The third scenario includes Scenario 2 impacts and adds potential impacts from limited availability of imported low-sulfur coal. ERCOT said this scenario results in a generation capacity reduction of around 3,000 MW during the off-peak months of March and April; 1,200 to 1,400 MW during the remainder of the first nine months of the year; and around 6,000 MW during the fall months of October, November and possibly into December.

ERCOT said it had not expected to be included when the CSAPR rule was announced in July. In addition, the rule requires implementation by January 2012.  ERCOT said that timeline provides an "extremely truncated period" to assess the rule's affect on reliability and offers "no realistic opportunity" to take steps to mitigate the "substantial losses of available operating capacity" it examined in its report.

The grid operator said, "In short, the CSAPR implementation date does not provide ERCOT and its resource owners a meaningful  window for taking steps to avoid the loss of thousands of megawatts of capacity, and the attendant risks of outages for Texas power users."

Read more news and features on the business of power generation.



Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...