Release of rule for existing plants may slip, will include ideas to promote renewables
“The key point is we’re going to be looking at ways to get beyond the fence line of electric generating facilities,” Perciasepe said during a panel at the White House summit, which was broadcast live online.
“Once you open that concept and try to develop a program that can utilize changes in the broader electric generating system — or the grid, as we sometimes like to call it — that opens up a lot of different opportunities,” he added. “So when you see our proposal in June, you will see a lot of different ideas in there about how we might go about doing that and building it into the system.”
As it related to the solar industry that was the focus of today’s White House conference, EPA’s role is “organizing and recognizing demand,” Perciasepe said.
EPA is approaching the Clean Air Act Section 111(d) rulemaking with a recognition that existing power plants have less ability to install pollution controls than those that would be built from scratch, and officials have all but promised they will not be demanding installation of carbon capture and sequestration as they have for new plants.
The agency has been collaborating with states and other stakeholders to maximize the tools available under the little-used section of the Clean Air Act they are working with, to promote efficiency, renewable energy and other technologies that could drive down emissions throughout the system while maintaining a reliable grid. However, the idea of going outside the fence has not been without controversy, as some utilities say EPA should narrow its focus to what they can achieve on-site (Greenwire, Oct. 7, 2013).