- Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) launched a project this month to direct conservative discussions on energy and national security toward market-based approaches, leveraging the knowledge and experience of three former U.S. generals.
- The Grid Security Project will focus on federal-level policy, as well as Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania, where state subsidy efforts are underway to aid power plants that SAFE has deemed unnecessary for reliability or security, based on a technical analysis from grid operator PJM Interconnection.
The new group aims to shift "the narrative in the conservative community away from subsidizing coal and nuclear plants toward one that emphasizes real grid security and resilience," following proposals from several states and the Trump administration to subsidize power plants with baseload capacity, according to SAFE's statement.
The Grid Security Project's fuel-neutral message would target Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania, with education efforts extending to legislators, public utility commissioners and other thought leaders.
In Ohio, coal and nuclear subsidy legislation could go into effect in mid-October. The Grid Security Project is publishing information and working to oppose the subsidies because, according to SAFE, state legislators and First Energy Solutions have contradicted PJM's assessment by maintaining certain coal and nuclear plants were important to reliability and national security.
On a national level, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is pursuing a docket on resilience, and the Grid Security Project wants to help steer discussions toward market-based approaches.
"We want a reliable, resilient and affordable grid," Hagee said. "The best way to get to that... [is] with our ingenuity and our competitiveness."
The project aims to educate stakeholders on the possibilities of competitive contracts to promote resilience. "There's an element within the country that says we can't reveal" engineering improvements for the critical substations and nodes "for causes classified...and so there's no competition in the pricing of those repairs," Handy told reporters on Thursday.
"What we're suggesting, from a national security standpoint is ... companies know how to compete in a classified area or a confidential area, and not just about the grid, about anything," Hagee said. "These competitive forces can in fact be brought to bear even when you have information that is sensitive."