‘Bomb cyclone’ renews concern over electricity supply reliability

Frigid weather has led grid operators across the country to call on the coal fleet to produce more electricity than any other resource. It has served as a reminder of why policymakers and regulators must ensure that electricity is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

President and CEO of ACCCE, Paul Bailey, wrote an op-ed for The Hill to discuss why these extreme weather conditions should show FERC that there is a need for wholesale market reforms that value the resilience and reliability attributes of the coal fleet:

“The need to ensure that our electricity system performs under extreme, as well as normal, conditions is why the Department of Energy, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and many others have been studying our nation’s power grid as concerns mount that the grid might not be as reliable and resilient as it was a few years ago.

[…]

According to NERC, nearly three-quarters of the natural gas-fired power plants built in the past 20 years (one-fourth of the nation’s entire electricity supply) have no backup fuel source as an insurance policy. On the other hand, the coal fleet does not face this problem. Coal-fueled power plants maintain an average coal stockpile on site that can last two months or longer. This makes the coal fleet one of the most resilient electricity sources we have.”

Read the full op-ed here.

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