Latest News Around Clean Power Plan

There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the Clean Power Plan. Here is a round-up of some of the most important industry related news and how it may impact you.

Ameren Missouri Responds to CPP with Plans to Build Natural Gas Plants

If finalized, the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will require many utilities to shift their power generation investments and operations. Officials at Ameren Missouri have already begun planning for the changes it anticipates having to make to comply with the rule, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the state by 21 percent by 2020. Prior to the release of the CPP, Ameren had an internal roadmap in place that put the utility on track to meet the EPA target by the mid-2030s. The plan involved bringing approximately 600 megawatts of combined cycle natural gas plants online and integrating more renewable resources over the course of the next 20 years. To comply with the rule by 2020, Ameren claims it will need to need to add 1,200 megawatts of combined cycle natural gas before the 2020 deadline.

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Could Lead to Natural Gas Boom

EPA’s proposed regulation calling for prescriptive state-wide carbon dioxide reductions is expected to lead to the closure of coal-fired power plants across the country. The Agency predicts that much of this lost generation capacity is going to be replaced with natural gas plants. Coal is responsible for approximately 38 percent of electricity generation in the country today, while natural gas plants are responsible for about 25 percent. Several large utilities, including American Electric Power, Duke Energy, and Southern Company, have begun converting or closing some of their coal plants in exchange for natural gas, citing that the changes make economic sense given the current political climate. If the rule becomes final, natural gas may begin to rival coal as the most common fuel source in the US  for electricity generation. EPA states in the rule that both coal and natural gas are expected to hold over 30% of the market by 2030.

EPA Extends CPP Comment Period

On September 16, Janet McCabe, the Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office for Air and Radiation, announced that the EPA has extended its public comment period for the Clean Power Plan from mid-October until December 1st.   The announcement comes following protests from several states and utility stakeholders who believed more time was needed to thoroughly evaluate the proposal.  McCabe said the extension is not expected to change the rule’s finalization date of June 2015.

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