The effects of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) will be widespread across the United States, but a closer look at a Florida COOP demonstrates the negative consequences that the CPP will have on ordinary people.
The Seminole Electric Cooperative serves 1,400,000 people throughout much of Florida.
Seminole Electric Cooperative uses coal to generate most of the electricity it produces for nine distribution cooperatives. It primarily uses two 650 MW coal-fired power plants, a 500 MW natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plant and five aero-derivative peaking gas turbines rated 310 MW to generate electricity.
Nine distribution cooperatives distribute the electricity generated by Seminole to 1,400,000 people throughout many areas of Florida.
These people will be harmed by the effects of the CPP.
The EPA’s CPP could require Seminole’s two coal-fired power plants to close prematurely. While many radical environmentalists will applaud their closing, Seminole’s customers will suffer the consequences.
These units, according to the EPA, will have 20 years cut off their operating life.
The loans associated with the two coal-fired plants amount to nearly $700,000,000, and these loans will have to be paid off even when the two coal-fired power plants don’t generate electricity and produce income.
Unfortunately, there will be a financial penalty for the 1,400,000 people as they will bear the burden of paying off these loans.
Interestingly, the Seminole coal-fired power plant that will have to be closed, received a “top plant award” from Power Magazine in 2009.
In addition, it is believed the NGCC power plants, that also produce CO2 emissions, will have to be operated at substantially reduced capacity.
Meanwhile, the lost generation from the two coal-fired power plants and from the NGCC power plants will have to be replaced.
It might be replaced with wind and solar, but these will make the electricity more costly for the 1,400,000 people served by Seminole. Renewables will also create reliability problems since solar and wind are unreliable.
Until now the 1,400,000 people served by Seminole have paid a low price for their electricity, but the CPP will result in higher costs for electricity.
Many of the 1,400,000 people affected by the higher costs will be seniors, who can least afford the higher cost of electricity.
The CPP will also affect all Florida residents, of which 18.1%, or 5.331,000, are seniors.
While the other electric utilities serving Florida have a smaller percentage of their generating capacity using coal, it is still significant.
Using more natural gas in Florida may be a problem as studies have shown that the transmission lines in Florida may not be able to accommodate the needed output from additional natural gas power plants.
According to the EIA, 23% of Florida’s electricity was generated using coal, and all the units that supplied this electricity will be affected by the CPP.
The end result is that all 5,331,000 seniors in Florida will be adversely affected by the CPP.
Since coal is the least costly method for generating electricity, followed closely by natural gas, the addition of wind and solar power generation facilities to replace the electricity that will no longer be generated from coal-fired power plants will mean higher costs for seniors, and also for low and middle income citizens.
The situation at Seminole is a microcosm of what will happen across the United States.
While the precise circumstances surrounding each location around the country will be different, the outcome will be similar: Higher costs for all Americans.
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