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Iowa's Future Power Grid: Clean Won't Jeopardize Reliability

PHOTO: New research finds that plans to reduce carbon pollution from aging power plants in Iowa and nationwide will not jeopardize the reliability of the country's power grid. Photo credit: k.e. mckenzie/Flickr.
PHOTO: New research finds that plans to reduce carbon pollution from aging power plants in Iowa and nationwide will not jeopardize the reliability of the country's power grid. Photo credit: k.e. mckenzie/Flickr.
February 23, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa – As plans move forward for cutting carbon pollution from aging power plants in Iowa and across the country, new research concludes that concerns about any negative impact on reliability are unjustified.

The study by energy experts with the Analysis Group finds that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan will not jeopardize or compromise the reliability of the U.S. power system.

Senior Adviser Susan Tierney says the energy grid is already responding well to the changes happening now in the electric industry and that focus will continue for the future.

"There's nothing that would be different than in the past,” she states. “The grid operators, regulators, power
companies, owners of power plants will do their job and make sure that the lights stay on."

The EPA's Clean Power Plan aims to reduce power-sector carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, compared with levels of 2005.

Cheryl Roberto, associate vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund, served as a state utility commissioner. She notes that the plan will give states and power plant owners flexibility on compliance and a wide range of tools to meet pollution goals and keep the grid operating smoothly.

"Each generator will have a number of options to determine how they wish to comply, they won't all be reaching for the same contractor and need to do the exact same type of retrofits because there will be so many options," she explains.

In addition to the research from the Analysis Group, new studies from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute and the American Wind Energy Association also conclude that the Clean Power Plan will not jeopardize the reliability of the U.S. power system.

The final rules from the EPA are expected this summer.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA