Flawed Assumptions Lead NERC to ‘Implausible’ Reliability Concerns
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) concerns about grid reliability under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan trace back to faulty assumptions, according to an analysis released this week by the non-profit Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI).
“According to AEEI, the NERC analysis ignores many of the measures available today to help states meet their electric power needs as they reduce emissions—including energy efficiency and demand response, renewable energy generation, and a host of grid management tools—and artificially constrains what states have the freedom to do under the draft rule,” Fierce Energy reports.
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As a result, the analysis “projects an implausible picture of the electric power sector under the Clean Power Plan and identifies reliability concerns that arise only because of these unlikely results.”
AEEI critiques five assumptions in NERC’s Phase I modelling: that new centralized power plants will replace existing capacity, that states have to meet annual emissions caps, that emissions credit trading must follow power flow, that states will have only limited tools for complying with the new rule, and that few compliance scenarios are worth studying.
“The Phase I modeling of the Clean Power Plan projects an electric power system of the future that is inconsistent with the technology and market trends of today, let alone tomorrow,” said Matt Stanberry, who led the analytics team for the AEEI report.
“Taking into account the more likely result of ongoing developments in the electric power sector, especially those that will be accelerated by the CPP, the reliability concerns raised in the Phase I report largely disappear.”