PJM Double Talk: Grid Operator Floats Plan to Favor Nukes & Coal

We’re wondering if anyone else smells a tad bit of hypocrisy with this one. In March, PJM Interconnection–the regional transmission organization (RTO) that operates the electric grid in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia (including PA, OH and WV), released a study saying even with fewer coal plants producing electricity, PJM’s electric supplies–using more and more natgas and renewables–will be just fine (see Is PJM Electric Grid at Risk by Using More NatGas? Study Says No). Then just last month, PJM said DOE Sec. Rick Perry’s plan to favor electricity from nuclear energy plants and coal, in the name of “grid reliability,” is not needed (see Appalachian Grid Operators: We Don’t Need Trump’s Reliability Plan). But yesterday PJM turned around and released their own plan…which does just that! PJM published “Proposed Enhancements to Energy Price Formation” (full copy below) to set rates that supposedly more accurate reflect the contributions “fixed” electric producers like coal and nuclear make to the grid. That is, PJM is proposing changes to the pricing scheme that will cause a 2-5% increase for all electric rate payers in PJM–in the name of grid reliability. They want to deliver on Trump’s aim of grid reliability, but do it in a different way (with the same result of higher prices for everybody)…

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