‘Catastrophic situation’: Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Christie warns America’s power grid is in big trouble – ‘Threatening our ability to keep the lights on’

‘Catastrophic situation’: Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Christie warns America’s power grid is in big trouble – ‘Threatening our ability to keep the lights on’
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FERC Commissioner Christie: “The one issue I want to focus on today, I think is reliability, and I’m really afraid to say that I think the United States is heading for a very catastrophic situation in terms of reliability — hope it doesn’t happen, but I think were heading for potentially catastrophic consequences. And, the core of the problem is actually very simple. We are retiring dispatchable generating resources at a pace and in an amount that is far too fast and far too great and it is threatening our ability to keep the lights on.”

Testifying before the US Senate, FERC Commissioner Mark Christie warns that America’s bulk power grid is in big trouble. Christie: ‘I’m really afraid to say that I think the United States is heading for a very catastrophic situation in terms of reliability — hope it doesn’t happen, but I think were heading for potentially catastrophic consequences.’

US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Hearing to Conduct Oversight of FERC
May 4, 2023

FERC Commissioner Christie: “The one issue I want to focus on today, I think is reliability, and I’m really afraid to say that I think the United States is heading for a very catastrophic situation in terms of reliability — hope it doesn’t happen, but I think were heading for potentially catastrophic consequences. And, the core of the problem is actually very simple. We are retiring dispatchable generating resources at a pace and in an amount that is far too fast and far too great and it is threatening our ability to keep the lights on. Now the problem is not the addition of wind and solar and other renewable resources, the problem is the subtraction of dispatchable resources such as coal and gas. And, of course, Mr. Chairman as you know when a dispatchable coal unit is prematurely retired in West Virginia it’s still in rate base and consumers still have to pay for it if it’s prematurely retired. This is going on all over the country in both RTO and non-RTO states — this almost cascading number of early retirements. And, when I mean early retirements, I mean retirements when there is still many years of useful life left on these generating units.”

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