Renewables, Extreme Weather and System Reliability

Snow-covered solar panels in Michigan.

Snow-covered solar panels in Michigan.

by James A. Bacon

At 8 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2015, Dominion Virginia Power (DPV) supplied a record 19,870 megawatts of electric power to its 2.5 million customers — beating the previous record, set the year before, by 85 megawatts. That news bit comes from a DPV e-newsletter with no particular ax to grind. Temperatures in Richmond, you may recall, fell to 12° F that day.

Now, let’s perform a thought experiment similar to the one that Investors Business Daily did for Boston.

What if environmentalists had convinced Boston city officials that fossil fuels were destroying the planet and that renewable energy sources could supply the city’s needs both in electricity generation and for powering city vehicles?

The past several weeks have seen back-to-back winter snowstorms in New England, as well as much of the Midwest, with plunging temperatures and seven feet of snow already in many parts of Massachusetts. So how would the city fare under a green energy-only policy? …

Let’s begin with heating. Bostonians wouldn’t be able to use heating oil or natural gas because those are fossil fuels, so electricity would most likely depend on wind and solar. But when snowstorms keep coming, there’s very little sunshine, and acres of solar panels would likely be covered in snow.


The picture for wind power is different from solar. Cloudy days don’t dim the production of wind power. But major storms do. Wind turbines are shut down when winds hit high speeds, say, 45 miles per hour or more. Check out the video above to see what happens to wind turbines in high winds. Its’ really cool!

Virginia has a voluntary Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that sets a goal for Virginia power companies to generate 15% of their electricity from renewable sources (solar, wind, biomass, hydro) by 2025. Environmentalists have supported increasing the goal to 25% and making it mandatory.

Ironically, one of the things that increasingly concern environmentalists is “extreme weather events” precipitated by global warming. Warming, we are told, will lead to more heat waves, more drought, more hurricanes and more disruption of the jet stream with concomitant extreme bouts of polar cold. We need more renewable energy, they say, in order to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that supposedly drive this climate change. Yet renewable energy — particularly solar and wind — are the most likely to fail during extreme weather events.

Right now, with renewables constituting one or two percent of Virginia’s power portfolio, DPV, Appalachian Power and the electric co-ops have an adequate safety margin to accommodate fluctuations in renewable supplies. But extreme weather events like polar-express cold waves are coupled with extreme demands for electricity. If renewables constituted 25% of the energy portfolio, could Virginia electric utilities keep the heat pumps running? And if they couldn’t, how many people would freeze to death?

These are serious questions. If there is to be a serious discussion about mandating a 25% RPS standard, issues of system reliability must be addressed. If environmentalists want to be taken seriously on this issue, they need to propose solutions. Perhaps there are solutions. If so, I haven’t heard them. But they need to be packaged with RPS legislation, or we risk bringing upon ourselves the very calamity we seek to avoid.

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38 responses to “Renewables, Extreme Weather and System Reliability

  1. I’ve got to throw the simplistic thinking flag again.

    This is not and never should be – ever – an all or nothing proposition. Why is it represented this way?

    It’s about using wind and solar – WHEN YOU CAN – and still rely on other fuels when you can’t.

    coal and nuke base load cannot ramp up or down quickly and natural gas can.

    Did the newsletter tell you from what sources the increased demand was met?

    what would be more reliable in a low temp winter scenario – a 100 mile distant coal or nuke plant or a “local” natural gas “peaker”?

    used to be that the nat gas peaker was 7 times more expensive than coal or nuke but that has changed dramatically in the last few years. My understanding is that nat gas is now cost-competitive or even cheaper , less pollution, more easily sited for local service and can ramp up and down quickly in response to changing demand.

    so I ask why does the dialogue continue along the lines of all or nothing solar and wind and ignore these other issues that would be clearly better no matter what the solar/wind situation is – but he’s the important part – if you build a distributed grid of fast-responding nat gas plants – they can complement solar and wind …which is also becoming cost-competitive as well as even less polluting.

    why can’t we have a dialogue about what the right “mix” of energy would be best AND … recognize the pros and cons of EACH source instead of making wind/solar the goat and pretending that coal is without downsides?

    what’s wrong with a strategy of distributed nat gas plants to supplement coal instead of firing up more coal/nuke base load?

    why is that not something worth pursuing and the side benefit of melding with solar/wind -a bonus?

    the frustrating thing about this is how it has taken on a mindset similar to global warming in that it’s portrayed as a simplistic all or nothing proposition when nothing could be further from the truth?

    I can only wonder if some folks are truly interested in evolving to a better system than they are throwing partisan obstacles in the way.

    • Jim, you ask, “If renewables constituted 25% of the energy portfolio, could Virginia electric utilities keep the heat pumps running?” And LarryG responds, “It’s about using wind and solar – WHEN YOU CAN – and still rely on other fuels when you can’t.”

      Larry is right, DPV is not going to rely on power sources when they aren’t reliable. DPV’s focus above all is reliability, and they are not going to cut corners that risk the lights going out. But you are right, reliability plus “25% renewable” imposes costs. What does that mean? Well, obviously, it means that the renewables you have bought must remain supplemental resources, not primary resources, and you still have to keep those nasty fossil-fueled sources around to run during those cloudy/windless/stormy days and sunless hours.

      That redundancy is costly. In addition, those fossil-fueled generators, which tend to be the older units and therefore already less efficient, will now NOT be used whenever the renewable resources can be, hence their costs (manning, maintenance and support) per unit of output will increase, apparent efficiencies will plummet, and DPV’s performance statistics will appear to decline. It’s a competitive wholesale electric market out there and you’ll force DPV to compete with one hand tied.

      The only offset is that most other utilities have a hand tied, too, these days. That’s a hell of a way for DPV to remain competitive and keep costs low for the consumer, but that’s what we are doing to ourselves here.

      Of course there is the nuclear option, too, but nuclear power makes sense only for base-line (around-the-clock) demands; nuclear power cannot be ramped up or down quickly enough to match loads as they vary during the day. For cycling on and off, DPV needs either fossil-fueled resources or renewables — or both.

      Bottom line: power from renewable resources means extra costs. DPV will keep the lights on, but pass along those extra costs. If that’s what the GA says we want, that’s what DPV will do to comply.

      • Acbar, you nailed it. It is irresponsible to try to justify implementing renewables on the theory that the cost of operating them is competitive with fossils when they’re operating without acknowledging their inherent variability and the necessity of maintaining expensive backup power.

        As you say, if that’s what the GA wants, that’s what DPV will deliver. DPV doesn’t care — they’ll build the higher price into the rate base. But we’ll have a very different economy if electric power costs 30% more than it does now.

        • Yes it would be a different economy. The role of cheap energy in sustaining American competitiveness is underappreciated. Perhaps the shift away from manufacturing has lessened the importance of that factor somewhat but it still matters.

          I spent many years dealing with electric utility regulation and came to realize the utilities really are responsive both to public approval and to regulatory incentives and to the interaction between those. You are right, if that’s what the GA wants, DPV will deliver. But I think they also do care if the public is unhappy about it or needs education about it. If the public wants renewables, DPV will try to satisfy that want even on a voluntary basis (which means, also persuade the regulator that the good will is worth the extra cost). Make it mandatory and there’s no question DPV will comply; but they will also try to make it a teaching moment too. That new solar plant outside Remington will be as close to DPV’s population centers as they could put it and that’s surely motivated by the desire to attract busloads of school kids and their parent on tours.

        • A distinction should be made between solar power generated by rooftop panels installed on homes and businesses and utility-scale solar power.

          One of the reasons that rooftop solar panels (and energy efficiency improvements) haven’t taken off is because of the steep upfront costs involved to homeowners and businesses.

          The clean energy movement has been advocating a financing mechanism called property assessed clean energy (PACE.) PACE allows a local government to obtain bond financing for the purpose of financing clean energy improvements for property owners. The costs are then recovered through property tax assessments over periods up to 20 years.

          So electricity rates are only part of the equation.

          Under the EPA CPP, could PACE financed improvements be mandated? I wonder.

          • re: “help”

            well the interesting thing is – the anti-solar folks are opposed to “subsidies” even as they support subsidies for coal “externalities” and nuke insurance.

            so they support govt policies to “help” coal and nukes but not for wind/solar because the “free market” should be allowed to pick the energy winners/losers and not the govt.

            does that concept make sense?

            well, yes of course – to some folks..

    • LarryG, you say “what’s wrong with a strategy of distributed nat gas plants to supplement coal instead of firing up more coal/nuke base load? why is that not something worth pursuing and the side benefit of melding with solar/wind -a bonus?” Yes, yes, I daresay DPV would completely agree — these types of generation all have their strengths and weaknesses!

      You have to step back and ask, what is the mission we, the public, are asking DPV to fulfill. If it’s electricity delivered to the home at the lowest possible price, they’re doing a hell of a job. If you also want to impose additional “externalities” like “limit your use of coal to __%” and “increase your use of renewables to __%” and “subsidize the cost impact of distributed, home-based generation by __%,” DPV will find the lowest cost way to do all those things too — just, please, listen to them when they try to explain all the hidden costs that will bubble to the surface.

      And, by the way, I am just as critical of Dominion for not explaining these things very well to the public, on the assumption that we wouldn’t understand.

  2. Seems to me the pending EPA Clean Power Plant (CPP) regulations essentially mandate shutting down coal plants, and force renewable and nuclear options. Even natural gas probably cannot be used to replace aging nuclear capacity due to the EPA carbon reduction regulations for Virginia. In other words, the past approach of voluntary renewable portfolio standards seems to me superseded by the new command and control CO2 approach. Of course, the CPP remains to be seen as far as final form.

    I personally do not want to decide between new nuclear plants and renewables as the only two options. But if that is my only choice, I would probably go heavy on renewables.

    • We need both. There is nothing wrong with renewables to the extent they contribute towards the efficient supply of electricity when it’s required. Many renewable-resource generators are quite efficient WHEN they operate; their cost limitation is their inherent unreliability, meaning, there’s a cost to maintain backup resources.

  3. Many boston homes are oil-heated with trucks driving up to individual houses- not exactly on the grid

    • Correct; but firstly, most home furnaces will not operate at all unless the fan or water-pump is working to distribute the heat, which effectively means no electricity = no heat. Secondly, if the oil supply can’t get there, lots of folks have lots of those (little and big) electric space heaters in their homes which they will operate to the max, effectively shifting much of the heating burden to electricity in emergencies.

  4. From a centralized standpoint a combination of solar/wind via battery power plants to balance http://cleantechnica.com/2014/09/19/25000-cell-battery-power-plant-switched-germany/

    Combined with geothermal/hydroelectric/tidal would cover 99.9999% of times if done right. Your point about extreme weather is moot considering during extreme whether all centralized power fails anyways, or do you have some sort of magically power grid that’s never had a blackout before? Branches don’t fall on powerlines during a hurricane in the Bacon household is that it?

    This might be the most specious of all arguments to date that I have seen against renewables.

    And, btw, anyone who is serious about renewables is really only talking reduction on dependence and picking up future growth, not complete overhaul. Its called a mix of all of the above for that reason exactly. Now point to a single speech where Obama has said otherwise.

    • re: ” Now point to a single speech where Obama has said otherwise.”

      that’s what this is about – just like the MedicAid Expansion.

      it’s denial …

      our priorities should be a more resilient (Jim likes that word/concept) power grid that is less reliant on single points of failure and distributed and redundant and all these folks can say is “bad bad EPA”, “bad bad Obama”, “we refuse to do what make sense if it has any relation to what this administration is saying”.

      I’ve asked several times now – why distributed natural gas is not good and no answers.. so far..

    • This isn’t about what Obama says.

      It is about the specific requirements of that mix and the specific time frame that the EPA has outlined in its CPP for each state.

      Funny, you don’t hear Obama talking much about that.

  5. are ya’ll purposely ignoring the use of nat gas to respond to demand over base load?

    how does the usage of natural gas make the grid less reliable?

    it would make the grid MORE reliable because it comes online much quicker than base load does – and it is distributed geographically.

    so how about one of you geniuses actually responding to the nat gas question?

    so I ask you guys again – tell me what is wrong is using Nat Gas when it has inherent advantages over base load?

    come on guys.. I know you can do better … how about an answer?

    • As to reliability, you are right. The “natural gas question” IMO has only to do with whether the gas is more valuable for other uses (e.g., manufacturing chemicals and plastics) than for boiler-fuel. And if you assume that the world price of gas versus alternative fuels reflects how much (or how little) manufacturing values gas for its chemical properties, then why not burn it?

      The alternative discussion we could have is about the silliness of trying to control carbon emissions without ceasing to burn carbon. If we really intend to limit carbon emissions PER SE, then let’s have a carbon tax that treats all such emissions exactly the same. A pound of CO2 in the air is the same regardless of its source. Natural gas has advantages when it comes to some other emissions (particulates, sulphur, NOx) but not as to CO2 emissions.

      • okay – let me go at this from a different direction.

        how would you upgrade the power grid without natural gas?

        can you do that?

        is natural gas necessary to have a smart grid?

        what is the “value” of natural gas in that context?

        why do you assiduously evade and avoid this discussion about nat gas and it’s importance to the power grid?

        do you simply not believe it and that we :

        1 – do not need to upgrade the grid
        2. – we can upgrade it without natural gas?

  6. That is a pretty cool video of what happens when a wind turbine fails. I want to share some cool videos.

    Here’s a cool video of what happens when a nuclear power plant fails.

  7. Here’s a nifty video of what happens when a coal plant fails.

  8. Here’s a spiffy video showing what happens when a gas plant fails.

    • re: ” These are serious questions. If there is to be a serious discussion about mandating a 25% RPS standard, issues of system reliability must be addressed. If environmentalists want to be taken seriously on this issue, they need to propose solutions. Perhaps there are solutions. If so, I haven’t heard them. But they need to be packaged with RPS legislation, or we risk bringing upon ourselves the very calamity we seek to avoid.”

      I don’t know about mandating a 25% standard but the system reliability issue is bogus to the bone if the folks who are bringing it up refuse to acknowledge that natural gas plants co-located with wind/solar can – almost instantaneously adapt to the changing inputs from wind/solar – and every kilowatt that can be harvested is a kilowatt that does not have to be generated from burning fossil fuels.

      In addition the nat gas plants have even more utility independent from it’s wind/solar relationship. nat gas plants provide a distributed grid that is better able to adapt to changing demands on the grid – regional and localized. Nat gas plants provide a dynamic load-balancing capability.

      but the opponents of solar/wind are so focused on their opposition that they won’t even acknowledge the benefits of Natural Gas plants.

      so that’s the response to Jim’s challenge propose solutions.

      they’re proposed – and they are ignored.. so much for the objectivity of the opponents. The only answer they want is “no”.

      • Larry, I’m not opposed to renewables. I don’t know anyone who’s opposed to renewables. We’re opposed to *subsidies* for renewables. The fact that you can’t make the distinction means that you don’t understand the debate.

        I look forward to the day when renewables can be installed and operated economically. They’re just not ready for prime time. It’s entirely possible that they will be in five or six years. If so, let’s go for it! Until then, let’s hold off.

        • Jim – I’m talking about natural gas more than renewables.

          we have subsidies for flooding, for transit, for home mortgages, even for energy efficient things and we have subsidies for coal and nukes.

          Coal enjoys a pollution subsidy.

          even with all of this I’m also not in favor of subsidies for solar and wind but the reality is that solar and wind are already cost competitive but it’s the problem of how to integrate them into the grid that is the problem.

          People who buy solar could actually break even on solar without subsidies if they could feed their excess power into the grid … so it’s not that they need subsidies – it’s that Dominion is refusing to try to accommodate solar – even buy it at the wholesale power price – because their grid is not modern – and they apparently also have no plans to make it modern with natural gas plants – which in and of themselves would be the keystone for making the grid more reliable.

          why are you guys not addressing the natural gas aspect?

          • Are we not addressing something about natural gas? I believe natural gas elec can do whatever we want: it can be large base load power, it can be peak shaving on demand, it can be back-up complement to solar/wind. It can be small scale distributed via fuel cells (which I recently read Dominion may be doing some interesting fuel cell applications).

          • yes, you’re not.

            how do you upgrade the grid to be a smart distributed, load-balancing grid – without natural gas?

            how do you modernize the grid utilizing only base load?

          • Of course natural gas has nothing to do with upgrading the grid, except to say small fuel cell applications to generate local electricity for buildings probably would also benefit from net metering.

            You know, Dominion and VA GA appear to be “going slow” on allowing homeowners to do roof-top solar in VA. They would rather have large utility-scale projects and sell the power to the homeowners. If it was me, I’d encourage more roof-top solar, but I probably would not be overly generous on payback to the homeowners ( I would not overly subsidize solar users with non-solar-users money).

            You know, natural gas costs like $2-3 at the well-head, but I probably pay 10 times more than that as a home user, because that’s what Washington Gas says it costs to maintain the system and distribute gas to me. I don’t like the huge surcharge, to be honest I do not feel like I am getting my money’s worth. But such is life as a utility customer.

          • re: ” Of course natural gas has nothing to do with upgrading the grid”

            Ok. Can you tell me how you would have a smart grid with only base load ?

            how do you load balance without natural gas?

          • Larry I regret that I am not an electrical engineer nor am I a a smart grid activist per se, so I don’t know all of the load balance options. I have been to Smith Mountain Lake, so I know one approach is two lakes with pumped water at night. Some countries make heavy use of that approach. Using natural gas for load balance would be my suggestion also, if you and I are in agreement on that. By the way, when we talk mandating renewables at 25% for VA, if that ever happens, in my mind I am doing trash-to-steam as one valid approach. In the past, ultities have tended to not support trash-to-steam by not offering much revenue for the power generated. So I am sensitive to the need to allow outside power sources to participate in the grid. I have always been a very vocal utility critic but mostly in NJ.

          • Tbill – you are correct about pump-storage hydro – but those sites are already exploited and there are few other places where it is possible but
            the thing to note is that those plants use coal to pump up during lower power demand so the coal plants are running all the time to basically store up power for later.

            here’s my thinking –

            base load – coal and nuke cannot ramp up or down quickly so how does the grid react to fast changing demands?

            what do coal plants do when they are generating power in excess of grid demand – right now?

            do they cut back on how much coal they are burning and take several hours for the plant to reach a lower stage of generation?

            or do they continue to burn coal but not run the turbines? just burn the coal?

            or if demand is going up – like in very hot weather or very coal weather or a plant somewhere in the PJM has gone down?

            it takes hours to load more coal and increase output so how does that work?

            right now – the way it works is power already be generated in excess demands in one part of the region to routed to where it is needed in other parts of the region.

            It’s a giant regional distributed system where somewhere in that region there are one or more coal plants generating in excess of demand where the turbines get turned on and the electricity routed to where it is needed.

            what happens when you have no plants burning coal and not actually generating? You immediately try to start up more plants – but it will take hours to get them up to max generating and in the meantime -you are dealing with brownouts and blackouts, rolling blackouts and massive outages as demand exceeds not only capacity – but the ability to route enough electricity to satisfy demand.

            now go back and think about how this plays out if you have distributed throughout the system – plants that can and do come up to speed quickly and start feeding more power into the grid.

            Those are Natural Gas plants – they come in various flavors:

            Natural Gas Fired
            NG: Conventional Combined Cycle
            NG: Advanced Combined Cycle
            NG: Advanced CC with CCS
            NG: Conventional Combustion Turbine
            NG: Advanced Combustion Turbine

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

            you’ll see they are not only competitive on price with coal but they can come online in a matter of minutes – not hours.

            so instead of trying to re-route coal-power electricity on the PJM, the nat gas plants come up quick to meet localized demand without having to do a regional grid re-routing.

            and those nat gas plants allow shutting down coal plants that are burning coal but idling turbines until needed.

            so the Nat Gas plants can generate power as cheaply as coal but with far fewer emissions… and they are much faster in their up and down so you
            don’t have to have them burning fuel but not generating electricity – like
            we are doing right now with coal – we have plants that are running 24/7 burning coal and not generating electricity until demand ramps up.

            that’s why some of that power can be used to pump water back into a reservoir and if we had lots and lots of reservoirs – it would be a virtual battery storage system and be perfect symmetry. But we don’t – we’ve
            pretty much exhausted the sites that are available unless we want to build more pump-storage reservoirs…

            natural gas is much more flexible. You can put them anywhere there is a pipeline with natural gas.

            and the major side benefit of plants that can ramp up and down quickly is that those plants can complement power sources that ramp up and down quickly – solar and wind.

            so nat gas is already needed to modernize the grid and allow faster response times to changing demands (load balancing) and without it – we continue to run coal plants 24/7 that don’t generate electricity – they’re “hot”reserve sites that just burn coal and don’t have turbines running until demand increases.

            and the second benefit of nat gas is to team with wind/solar – running on a low cycle when wind and solar are generating but having the ability to quickly increase to a higher output when wind and solar drop to lower generation levels.

            so you can think of wind and solar teamed with nat gas a little like coal plants working with pump-storage reservoirs except nat gas does not need to run continuous 24/7 in a “ready” mode.. like coal does.

            so right now – we’re running coal plants that are not generating power – but have to run so they are available quickly when needed.

            We should move to the nat gas reliant system just for efficiency purposes irregardless of climate. It’s just plain wasteful to burn coal that does nothing.. just so we can turn the turbines on when needed.

  9. Also – as I recall you and others have questioned the objectivity of PJM to write an analysis that supports the use of wind and solar.

    Who We Are

    PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in 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.

    Acting as a neutral, independent party, PJM operates a competitive wholesale electricity market and manages the high-voltage electricity grid to ensure reliability for more than 61 million people.
    PJM’s long-term regional planning process provides a broad, interstate perspective that identifies the most effective and cost-efficient improvements to the grid to ensure reliability and economic benefits on a system wide basis.
    An independent Board oversees PJM’s activities. Effective governance and a collaborative stakeholder process help PJM achieve its vision: “To be the electric industry leader – today and tomorrow – in reliable operations, efficient wholesale markets, and infrastructure development.”

    http://www.pjm.com/about-pjm/who-we-are.aspx

    that does not sound like they have a dog in the solar/wind hunt… it benefits them not to advocate for or against wind/solar.

    now, contrast this with what Dominion is NOT doing …. basically what Dominion is doing is refusing to map out a distributed grid that leverages the significant benefits of Natural Gas – and instead they’re trying to build a pipeline to sell natural gas – perhaps overseas.

    there is an obvious question here with regard to how Dominion’s plans benefit Virginians and ratepayers verses their own business and investors.

    and what should the role of the SCC be ? to certify that Dominion’s plans are consistent with the needs of Virginians or Dominions business and investors?

    I see some problems with the SCC role … it does not appear to be working for Virginians and ratepayers but rather has become a surrogate for Dominion.

  10. Funny you should post this, Larry. I was just this moment reading the PJM report. The report does not purport to “support” the use of wind and solar. It specifically states that it makes no policy recommendations. Also, its findings are limited in scope. As the report states, “The result of PJM’s analyses are not predictions of future outcomes; rather, they are assessments of possible impacts based on specific assumptions and tempered by uncertainties.”

    It also states this: “Electricity production costs are likely to increase with compliance because larger amounts of higher-cost, cleaner generation will be used to meet emissions targets.”

    • and again I ask – Jim – where is this kind of analysis at the SCC to accompany their response to the EPA? Where is Dominions reasoned analysis?

      and Jim do you actually read things that don’t come biased sources. (or better provide the sources you’re reading that disagree)

      try this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

      skip down to this part:

      Estimated Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources, 2019

      note the reference:
      [2] Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2013]. Released January, 2013. Report of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

      after you take the time to read this – paying attention to the costs –

      then please come back and make informed comments.

  11. let’s put in this way. The PJM report seems to be at odds with what the EIA is saying about costs – and that’s fine because PJM may have it’s own view also but the point is that the PJM report is at odds with what DOminion and the SCC are saying and I find the agreement between the SCC and Dominon while ignoring the PJM and EIA to be totally incongruous for a state agency that is supposedly looking out for Virginians and ratepayers.

    we have a 20th century grid that almost all informed people say is in serious needs of bringing into the 21st century – not just pollution – but reliability, resiliency and flexibility – efficiency…

    yet Dominion sits on this dinosaur and has no vision for the future other than getting the SCC to sit on the status quo and be their attack dog on the EPA.

    we’re running coal plants 24/7 that are not generating electricity – they are basically “hot” reserve and ratepayers are paying for it – a premium so that they have adequate power when demand ramps up – and they’re paying for it in pollution of mercury, SO2 and others that are proven to affect kids and elders health. Is this an efficient use of resources in the 21st century?

    yet the SCC ignores all of this as well as ignores the PJM and EIA in their jihad against the EPA .

    forget the EPA – what is Dominion’s plan and SCCs analysis for upgrading the grid in Virginia?

    where is that?

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