- The Brattle Group is proposing a regional approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
- The approach, proposed by Great River Energy, a wholesale cooperative, would be based in existing regional transmission organization footprints, like the Midcontinent Independent System Operator.
- Under the proposal, states in a regional power market would agree to meet regional targets instead of having state- or plant-specific GHG emissions caps. The regional grid operator would charge a carbon price that would affect the order of dispatch of generating units in the market.
EPA is preparing to issue draft GHG emissions standards for existing power plants in June. A regional approach could have many advantages over a state-by-state approach.
"One of the major benefits of this approach is that we can leverage an established ISO and all of its infrastructure, while allowing the market to internalize the new constraints as the ISO optimizes the regional system dispatch,” Jon Brekke, Great River Energy vice president of membership and energy markets, said.
Great River Energy and Brattle Group aren't alone in thinking a regional approach may make sense for cutting emissions from power plants. The head of the Oregon Global Warming Commission floated the idea of taking a regional approach during a January Northwest Power & Conservation Council meeting.