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FERC Rejects Perry’s Call to Subsidize Coal, Nuclear

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Despite early support, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously rejected a call from Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would have subsidized coal and nuclear plants.

The five commissioners include three Republicans and four appointed by President Trump, the Washington Post reported.

Instead, FERC has initiated new proceedings to “holistically” examine the resilience of the country’s power system. The goal of these proceedings would be to “develop a common understanding among the Commission, industry and others of what resilience of the bulk power system means and requires; to understand how each regional transmission organization and independent system operator assesses resilience in its geographic footprint; and to use this information to evaluate whether additional Commission action regarding resilience is appropriate.”

The statement by the FERC expressed their appreciation for Perry’s advocacy of reinforced grid resilience.

Perry had argued that subsidizing struggling coal and nuclear plants was necessary to protect the nation’s grid, since they both keep at least 90 days’ worth of fuel on-site.

Former FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee had said he would comply with the request, which was due December 10. However, hours after being sworn in, new chairman Kevin McIntyre requested a delay in the response until January 10, saying he other new commissioners needed more time to fully consider the request. 

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