Washington, D.C. – In a recent letter to PJM Interconnection, America’s Power explained that near-term coal plant retirements could be three times greater than PJM anticipates in its recent white paper, thereby increasing the risk of electricity shortages. The PJM paper examines the disconnect between increasing coal retirements, growing electricity demand, and the slow addition of replacement power sources.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator have issued similar warnings that power supplies in other regions of the country also are in jeopardy because fossil-fuel power plants, mostly coal-fired plants, are being shut down faster than replacement power sources, predominantly wind and solar, can be built. When electricity demand peaks, a coal-fired plant is five times more dependable than solar and 14 times more dependable than wind.
“PJM’s paper is yet another warning that we are getting closer to an electric reliability crisis caused by the retirement of thermal power plants, especially those fueled by coal. Unless policy makers take action, more than two-thirds of the nation’s coal fleet will have shut down by 2030,” said Michelle Bloodworth, president and CEO of America’s Power. “These policy makers include state utility commissioners, regional transmission organizations, NERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others. They need to act now, not tomorrow,” urged Bloodworth.
America’s Power is a partnership of industries involved in producing electricity from coal.