In May, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) released its summer reliability assessment and forecasts that two-thirds of the U.S. will be at risk of power outages this summer. Although Ohio and much of the Midwest are not considered at-risk by NERC, outages are still possible on hot summer days and residents are still encouraged to use energy wisely during off-peak hours.
A recently published article from the Wall Street Journal outlines the new variable posed by the Environmental Protection Agency's recently finalized Good Neighbor Plan, which requires fossil-fuel powered plants in 22 states to reduce NOx emissions. The article states, "NERC predicts power plants will comply by limiting hours of operation but warns they may need regulatory waivers in the event of a power crunch. The EPA claimed the rule wouldn’t jeopardize grid reliability, but then why would power plants need waivers to prevent blackouts? The Fifth Circuit of Court of Appeals this month stayed the rule in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. But it continues to be a wild card in determining whether the lights stay on in the Midwest and West."