The power grid operator in the mid-Atlantic has warned that the planned shutdown of a coal-fired power plant could affect the electrical supply to millions of Americans, causing a total blackout.
PJM Interconnection, the company that manages wholesale electricity for 65 million Americans in 13 states, said they expect the shutdown of the Brandon Shores coal power plant to disrupt the power.
The plant’s owner, Talen Energy, recently struck a deal with the environmentalist group Sierra Club to deactivate it by 2025 to reduce carbon dioxide outputs and help fight ‘climate change.’
However, that deal could be better for residents.
Jeff Shields, a spokesperson for PJM Interconnection, told Fox News:
“The PJM region and the state of Maryland are facing future reliability challenges as a result of the announced retirement of the Brandon Shores units.”
“Specifically, PJM analyses showed that the deactivation of the Brandon Shores units would cause severe voltage drop and thermal violations across seven PJM zones, which could lead to a widespread reliability risk in Baltimore and the immediate surrounding areas.”
The Washington Examiner reported:
PJM predicts prematurely shutting down Brandon Shores could create an imbalance in the local power grid, and cause a blackout for millions.
The plant generates about 1,295 megawatts, which is enough to power more than a million homes.
Grids can sometimes transfer power from other areas, but the upgrades required to do so will not be finished until 2028 — three years after Brandon Shores is scheduled to shut down.
The company has demanded that Brandon Shores remain in operation until those upgrades are finished but notes that the Talen agreement with Sierra Club bars this from being the case.
Local regulators are working on accounting for these problems.
Maryland Public Service Commission spokeswoman Tori Leonard said:
“We are always mindful of regional electric system reliability and how it relates to electricity consumers in Maryland.”
A Fox News noted that because of the tight timeframe, PJM has requested that Brandon Shores remain in operation through 2028 under a so-called Reliability Must-Run Agreement until transmission upgrades are completed.
However, Shields noted Talen Energy’s agreement with Sierra Club prevents such an agreement from progressing.
Additionally, while Talen Energy previously said it would convert Brandon Shores to rely on another, less emitting fuel source, it ultimately abandoned that plan.
It opted to close the facility, potentially increasing future reliability concerns completely.
“Talen is currently in discussions with PJM and others regarding the reliability issue claimed by PJM,” Taryne WIlliams, a spokesperson for Talen Energy, told Fox News Digital in an email.
“We are always mindful of regional electric system reliability and how it relates to electricity consumers in Maryland,” added Maryland Public Service Commission spokesperson Tori Leonard in a statement, noting that PJM is responsible for reliably operating the regional transmission grid.
Democratic Gov. Wes Moore called for the state’s power grid to be entirely powered by green energy by 2035.
“Governor Moore remains committed to a vision for Maryland’s future that includes 100 percent clean energy — a commitment that will bring countless jobs and hundreds of millions in economic investment across the state,” Carter Elliott, a spokesperson for Moore said.
“Earlier this year, the governor was proud to sign the POWER Act and partner with Ørsted to announce Maryland’s First Offshore Wind Turbine Component Center at Tradepoint Atlantic.”
“Ørsted’s projects will support the creation of thousands of jobs in Maryland, power nearly 300,000 homes with renewable energy, and help the state achieve its goals of 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2031.”
“At every opportunity, the governor has worked aggressively to help Maryland meet its energy goals, and he will continue to lead the state with that goal at the top of mind while maintaining grid reliability and protecting ratepayers.”