Kansas commission opens up look at compliance with EPA’s Clean Power Plan

The State Corporation Commission of Kansas on Dec. 3 agreed with a staff recommendation and opened a docket to look at the impacts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, covering existing power plants, on the state of Kansas.

The Clean Power Plan, published in final form on Oct. 23 and under appeal by many parties in federal court, calls for 32% greenhouse gas reductions from existing power plants by 2030, with an interim compliance deadline in 2022. The plan calls for states to draw up their own implementation plans, with EPA stepping in if any state fails to do so.

The goal of this newly-opened docket at the Kansas commission would be to identify viable least-cost compliance options that maintain reliable electric service by conducting a comprehensive review of generation redispatch options. Commission staff noted that the 2015 Kansas Legislature enacted HB 2233, which requires the commission to develop and provide the following information to the legislature’s Clean Power Plan Implementation Study Committee:

  • Each utility’s re-dispatch options along with the cost of each option;
  • The lowest possible cost re-dispatch options on a state-wide basis; and
  • The impacts of each re-dispatch option on the reliability of Kansas’ integrated electric systems.

To study and identify the information requested above, staff will engage a consulting firm, with the necessary experience and modeling programs to run re-dispatch and power flow models.

“The Commission agrees with Staff’s recommendation to open a general investigation of the EPA’ s Clean Power Plan,” said the Dec. 3 order. “The Commission finds that to adequately advise the legislature vast amounts of data must by gathered and analyzed in a relatively short time period. … To ensure an organized procedure that is accessible both to the public and parties, the Commission will hold educational sessions, convene legislative-style hearings, and allow the public and parties to submit comments. Staff and its Consultant, with input from all parties, shall submit an initial timeline of the steps involved in the KCC’s evaluation of re-dispatch options and reliability by January 30, 2016. The Commission shall then utilize that initial timeline to issue a scheduling order setting a time and place for the educational sessions and legislative-style hearings.”

The commission will hold a special educational session on Jan. 12, 2016, where it will invite representatives from its staff, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Attorney General’s Office to offer presentations on issues relevant to the commission’s investigation.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.