Observers mixed on grid backup amid carbon rules, natural gas uncertainty
If the electrical grid that powers the United States encounters a supply problem, the easiest solution takes five years.
That's the minimum time it takes to build a large, natural gas-fired generation station, from siting to lining up investors, permitting and constructing.
“If you wait until you have a power problem, you've got a five-year problem,” said Bill Pentak, a vice president at Dallas-based Panda Power Funds.
The company is building seven gas-fired plants, including the Liberty and Patriot projects in the Marcellus shale fields of Bradford and Lycoming counties, because it believes the ever-increasing amount of gas from shale will become the grid's backbone.
Not everyone agrees.
“Natural gas cannot replace nuclear, it cannot replace coal,” U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper...
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