Demand Response Use

Vacatur of RICE NESHAP and NSPS for Stationary Compression Ignition and Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Engines Standards Operating Under Emergency Demand Response

 

EPA regulates emissions from stationary internal combustion engines in the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE NESHAP) and the New Source Performance Standards for Stationary Compression Ignition (CI ICE NSPS) and Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Engines (SI ICE NSPS) regulations which regulate combustion engines.  Under the rules, the stationary internal combustion engines are categorized as emergency or non-emergency engines.  Emergency engines are operated only during emergency situations such as power loss or for maintenance and testing purposes. 

A 2013 amendment of the RICE rules allowed emergency engines to operate for emergency demand response when (1) the Reliability Coordinator had declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 2, or (2) when there was a deviation of voltage or frequency of five percent or greater below standard voltage or frequency for up to 100 hours per year.  On May 1, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia Circuit vacated the sections of RICE rules that allowed emergency engines to operate for emergency demand response episodes.  The vacatur went into effect on May 4, 2016.    With the vacatur, Sections 60.4211(f)(2)(ii)-(iii), 60.4243(d)(2)(ii)-(iii), and 63.6640(f)(2)(ii)-(iii), which allowed emergency engines to operate up to 100 hours per year for emergency demand response conditions described above, cease to have any legal effect.

 

Emergency Engine Operational Allowances

With the vacatur emergency engines can only be operated during the following situations:

  • Emergency situations (there is no time limit to emergency situations)
  • Maintenance checks and readiness testing for up to 100 hours per year
  • Non-emergency situations for up to 50 hours per year if no financial arrangement.
  • Up to 50 hours per year for local reliability as part of a financial arrangement with another entity if specific criteria are met (this is allowed only for existing RICE at area sources of HAP). This provision was remanded September 2015 but allowed to stay in place while EPA reconsiders the allowance.

The 50 hours of operation for non-emergency situations or local reliability are counted as part of the 100 hours per calendar year for maintenance and testing.