In November 2014, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) issued an “initial reliability review” in which it identified elements of the CPP that could lead to reliability concerns. Echoed by some grid operators and cited in comments to EPA submitted by states, utilities, and industry groups, the NERC study has made reliability a critical issue in finalizing, and then implementing, the Clean Power Plan.
In order to gain insight on the issue, the Advanced Energy Economy Institute commissioned The Brattle Group, a leading consulting firm to utilities and grid operators, to conduct a critical review of the NERC study. US News & World Report quotes this review in a report of EPA Commissioner Gina Mccarthy’s remarks about the Clean Power Plan:
However, a March paper by the The Brattle Group, commissioned by the Advanced Energy Economy Institute – which supports renewable power sources like solar and wind – concluded the Clean Power Plan will not undercut the electric grid's reliability. A prior report from the North American Electricity Reliability Corp., which had raised those fears, ignored recent changes to the grid, the Brattle Group found, such as a move away from centralized power stations in favor of “distributed” energy sources like wind and solar, which have also helped lower states’ energy costs.