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A power grid operator in the mid-Atlantic region has issued a warning that the planned inactivation of a coal-fired power plant could potentially cause a complete outage and disrupt electricity for millions of Americans.

PJM Interconnection, the entity responsible for supplying wholesale electricity to 65 million Americans across 13 states, has predicted that the closure of the coal-fired Brandon Shores power plant will result in power outages.

Sierra Club, an environmental advocacy organization, and Talen Energy, the plant’s proprietor, have recently struck an agreement to deactivate the facility by 2025 in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and combat “climate change.”

However, that arrangement might be more favorable for the local inhabitants.

Jeff Shields, a representative of 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:

According to PJM, prematurely closing Brandon Shores might upset the local power system and result in a million-person blackout.

Approximately 1,295 megawatts, or more than a million houses, are produced by the plant.

Although there are occasions when grids can transmit power from other locations, the necessary changes won’t be completed until 2028, which is three years after Brandon Shores is supposed to close.

The business has insisted that Brandon Shores continue to operate until those improvements are completed, but it points out that this is prohibited by the Talen agreement with Sierra Club.

Regulators in the area are attempting to account for these issues.

Tori Leonard, a spokesperson for the Maryland Public Service Commission, stated:

“We always keep the reliability of the regional electric system and its impact on Maryland’s electricity consumers in mind.”

Due to the brief notice, PJM has requested that Brandon Shores continue operating through 2028 under a “Reliability Must-Run Agreement” until transmission enhancements are completed, according to a Fox News report.

Shields noted that the agreement between Talen Energy and Sierra Club impedes the progress of such an accord.

Furthermore, Talen Energy ultimately reneged on its initial commitment to transition Brandon Shores to a fuel source that was less detrimental to the environment.

Its closure of the facility could potentially give rise to significant concerns regarding its reliability in subsequent periods.

A representative for Talen Energy, Taryne Williams, sent an email to Fox News Digital stating, “Talen is currently in discussions with PJM and others regarding the reliability issue claimed by PJM.”

In a statement, Maryland Public Service Commission spokesman Tori Leonard added, “We are always mindful of regional electric system reliability and how it relates to electricity consumers in Maryland.” She noted that PJM is in charge of operating the regional transmission grid in a reliable manner.

Democratic Governor Wes Moore has set a target of 100% renewable energy sources for the state 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.”

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