MISO: Clean Power Plan could halve coal burn
- New analysis from the Midcontinent ISO estimates the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan could slash coal use on the nation's second largest power grid, possibly by more than half by 2030.
- Without new carbon regulation coal would still make up just over half of MISO's generation mix, but after new mandates are released in August the grid operator expects between 26% and 35% coal use.
- MISO released the analysis Tuesday in advance of its Planning Advisory Committee meeting today.
Argus combed through documents issued yesterday by MISO, finding that the grid operator expects coal generation to take a huge hit should the Clean Power Plan be implemented as expected. Gas would be the immediate benefactor, rising from about 20% of generation under a base case to as high as 47%.
While more than one analysis has shown the MISO grid is unlikely to face reliability issues under the CPP, the grid operator has estimated 14 GW of coal generation will likely be shuttered under the new rules.
Compliance costs could be as high as $8 billion annually, the ISO projected last year. But regional compliance options could drive down those costs. The Environmental Protection Agency is giving states some leeway in how they reach targets, and MISO's analysis found regional compliance options save approximately $3 billion annually compared to state-by-state compliance.
Recent work by the Analysis Group found the Midwestern grid well positioned to meet carbon reduction mandates without suffering reliability issues. A Brattle Group report earlier this year also found CPP compliance was unlikely to endanger grid reliability.
The Obama administration's carbon plan aims to reduce greenhouse gasses by 30% by 2030. MISO has faced resource adequacy issues in the near-term, but last week the operator said it anticipates sufficient power supplies through 2016, despite a previous survey which projected a 2.3 GW shortfall beginning next year.
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