A Winter’s Tale: Why We Need a Coal Fleet

Unusually frigid weather ― aka “bomb cyclone” ― has slammed much of the eastern United States this week. As a result, coal has been called on to produce more electricity than natural gas, nuclear, and renewables.

For example, in the PJM region (13 eastern states) coal provided nearly 20,000 megawatts (MW) more power than natural gas; 10,000 MW more than nuclear; and five times more power than renewables on January 3.

On the same day, coal generated more than half the electricity in the MISO region (15 midwestern states and part of Canada) and the SPP region (14 states in the central U.S.).

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry cited the “polar vortex” that many of us remember to underscore the need for electricity market reforms that value the fuel security and reliability attributes of the coal fleet. Secretary Perry and others understand that during the coldest weather the coal fleet can be counted on 24/7 to provide reliable, resilient power.

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Good point from @FERChatterjee at this week’s @BPC_Bipartisan event, while #gridresilience is different from reliab… //t.co/mhDMd5eXXV

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The electric grid must be reliable and have the resilience to withstand storms like #WinterStormGrayson - we urge… //t.co/B3cLkqTSUp

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This week's harsh cold led the SPP region to call on the #coalfleet for more than half of its power. #winterweather //t.co/Ca59WlZ3no

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While frigid temperatures wreaked havoc in the PJM region – the reliable and resilient #coalfleet provided homes an… //t.co/q3OZ58l0CJ

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.@NERC_Official identified 17 vulnerabilities that could disrupt the delivery of natural gas to power plants.… //t.co/eLWoA07HFl

America's Power
America's PowerJan 1 at 10:39am
Good point from FERC Commissioner Chatterjee at this week’s Bipartisan Policy Center event, while grid resilience is different from reliability, there are indeed significant threats to the resilience of our electric grid. See more from the event:
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