Supporters of the subsidies, including Perry, point to the 2014 Polar Vortex, a cold snap that taxed the power system and threatened blackouts.
But PJM’s Ott says even some coal and nuclear plants couldn’t operate during that period. Ott says threats to the grid come more from downed power lines during big storms, and storing coal would not help that. During large storms, some nuclear plants shut down. Coal supplies froze during the Polar Vortex, and were saturated with water during Hurricane Harvey.
He says market-based solutions should form the basis of grid reliability.
“We think part of the problem with the DOE proposal is it really, fundamentally undermines competitive markets and competitive signals,” he said.