|Posted:||October 13, 2017 02:45 PM|
|From:||Senator Ryan P. Aument and Sen. Donald C. White|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Concurrent Resolution on Fuel-Secure Generation Resources|
|As the Senate co-chair of the Nuclear Energy Caucus and members of the Coal Caucus, we have been raising concerns over the loss of nuclear and coal power plants in Pennsylvania.
Our concerns have been focused on several issues, including the economic impact of premature plant closures, the potential loss of coal and nuclear plants as a strategic asset for the bulk power system, the environmental consideration of losing the largest and most reliable carbon-free and other fuel-diverse electricity production, and the long-term impacts to consumers should the overall electric grid become overly dependent on any one generation source.
Pennsylvania is fortunate to be a top electricity producer from many sources, including nuclear, coal, gas and hydroelectric power. Together, coal, nuclear and hydroelectric power produce 67% of our Commonwealth’s electricity and create fuel diversity in our supply of energy.
As such, the loss of these fuel-secure resources matters greatly. For those who are not aware, fuel-secure generation resources are unique in that they are capable of storing fuel for their plants onsite for long periods of time.
On September 28, 2017, the United States Department of Energy (“DOE”) took a significant step forward in addressing the loss of fuel-secure generation by issuing a new rule directing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to ensure that fuel-secure generators are adequately compensated so that they can remain a viable component of the bulk power system.
In its rule, DOE noted the following:
The resiliency of the nation’s electric grid is threatened by the premature retirements of power plants that can withstand major fuel supply disruptions caused by natural or man-made disasters and, in those critical times, continue to provide electric energy, capacity, and essential grid reliability services. These fuel-secure resources are indispensable for the reliability and resiliency of our electric grid-and therefore indispensable for our economic and national security. It is time for the Commission to issue rules to protect the American people from energy outages expected to result from the loss of this fuel-secure generation capacity.
We agree, which is why we are seeking your support.
In the very near future, we will be introducing a concurrent resolution urging the FERC to swiftly consider DOE’s proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule and implement policies and adopt tariffs to ensure fuel-secure generation resources receive proper compensation for the positive attributes they provide our nation’s and Commonwealth’s electric system – in this case, reliability and resiliency.
Our goal is to promote Pennsylvania’s energy resources to the betterment of our economy, people and overall prosperity and to protect against unforeseen challenges that could threaten our electric grid, such as the polar vortex in 2014.
We are all aware of the challenges that the coal and nuclear sectors of our energy economy have been facing in recent years. Please join us to encourage the federal government to finally address these very serious issues.
Introduced as SR227