Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ratepayers better off with B. L. England dead or alive?

B. L. England Generating Station viewed from the east.

If the B.L. England coal-fired power plant in Beesley's Point, NJ is converted to natural gas, it could tax the reliability of the power grid more so than if the plant had been retired as once anticipated, according to environmentalists.
NJ Spotlight reports:

"Critics of the project, citing a report last month by an advisory committee of the PJM Interconnection, the operator of the nation’s largest power grid, claimed there would be fewer potential reliability issues if the plant shut down rather than remained open.
"In either case, ratepayers would probably face increased costs for upgrades to high-voltage transmission lines that would be required to address potential reliability problems on the power grid.
"If the B.L. England plant shuts down, PJM has identified costs of approximately $143 million that consumers would pay for necessary transmission systems improvements, according to Paula DuPont-Kidd, a PJM spokeswoman.
"But Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said that if the plant stays open, it could cost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades to deploy as many as seven transmission lines to prevent overloads and blackouts.
"PJM has not identified costs of the continued operation or repowering of the B.L. England plant, DuPont said in an e-mail responding to questions about the report."

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