Are We Building Too Many NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in M-U?

too much of a good thingA quick tutorial on the U.S. electric grid system. At a very basic level, the electric grid in our country is made up of RTOs (regional transmission organizations) and ISOs (independent system operators). Each RTO or ISO covers a single state (ISO) or multiple states (RTO). Electric generation is shifted around to meet demands in each region, overseen by whichever regional authority is in charge. For much of the Marcellus/Utica region, the electric organization in charge is the RTO called PJM (lots of acronyms!) PJM Interconnection covers all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. There has been a flurry of new natgas-fired electric plants announced over the past six months or so. The question being asked by industry analysts and bankers (who back such projects) is this: Are we building too many new electric plants, particularly in the Marcellus/Utica?…

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