HIGH DEMAND AND LOW WIND AND SOLAR DURING SUMMER IN NEW ENGLAND

This article assumes the highly productive (CF = 0.90), near-CO2-free, NE nuclear plants would be closed in 2035, when their licenses would have expired, but the highly efficient (up to 60%), low-CO2, gas turbine plants would continue to operate as at present. 

 

Wind and solar (after the meter, ATM + before the meter, BTM) would be greatly increased by 2035, based on ISO-NE projections; 32% of a total NE grid load, versus 5.5% in 2018.

 

As a result of replacing low cost-nuclear with high-cost wind and solar and a lot of grid addition and grid-scale battery systems, household electric rates would become significantly higher, as happened in California, and in Germany, Denmark, and other high RE nations in Europe. See URLs.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-more-wind-and-solar...

 

High Electricity Demand Periods: High electricity demand on the New England grid occurs at least 100 hours of the year. Those high demand hours occur mostly during June, July and August.

 

During high demands, almost all the traditional generators (gas, oil, coal, nuclear, hydro, wood, municipal waste, etc.) connected to the NE grid would be operating near maximum output, and electricity imports, via tie lines, likely would be maximal. Wind and solar would provide whatever, depending on sun and wind conditions.

 

If demand conditions warrant, as judged by ISO-NE, the grid operator,

 

1) Some reserve oil and coal plants would be started and be synchronous mode, so they would be ready to feed their output into the grid, as ordered by the grid operator. The owners of such plants would get paid for being “in reserve”, a common practice throughout the US and elsewhere in the world, because their plants would have to be kept in good order, staffed and fueled, ready to operate on a moment’s notice.

 

2) The grid operator would take offline pre-selected electric services to large users, who have agreed to such measures. Such users get paid for participating in the ISO-NE grid demand management program.

 

High-Reliability Electric Service Trumps All: Whereas many 100% RE proponents, who likely have never analyzed or designed any energy systems, and have been led to believe the California-originated mantra “wind, water, solar, WWS, can do it all”, are advocating no fossil and no nuclear plants, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, and the Independent System Operator of New England, ISO-NE, would never allow such a scenario to unfold, because they are mandated, by law, to ensure electricity service, 24/7/365, at high reliability, at least 99.98%. It is a pre-eminent requirement above all others, not just in the US, but also in Europe, Japan, etc.

 

Excessive Wind and Solar on the NE Grid

 

This URL shows significant curtailments of wind and solar would be required, because too much wind and solar on the NE grid would overwhelm the up and down ramping capacity of the NE gas turbine plants.

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1812.04787.pdf

 

This is nothing new, as grids in Germany, Denmark, Ireland, the UK, etc., which have much higher levels of wind and solar than the NE grid, have had similar issues for at least 5 to 10 years. They deal with these issues using:

 

1) Increased tie lines to nearby grids that have hydro storage, such as Sweden and Norway, which, along with Denmark and Finland, are on the Nord Pool grid

2) Increased tie lines to other grids with excess up and down ramping capacity, such as the Netherlands and France

3) Curtailment during high wind and/or solar

4) Demand management 

5) Various forms of domestic storage

 

States With and Without Mandated Renewable Portfolio Standards

 

Here is an item of interest to many people regarding mandated RPS requirements, which require utilities to sell a certain percentage of their total electricity sales as renewables, such as wind, solar, wood burning, municipal waste burning, etc. Some states also count hydro as renewable.

 

States with mandated RPS requirements had electricity prices 26% higher than those without.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/05/02/researchers-say-renewable-en...;

 

The 29 states with mandated RPS requirements (plus the District of Columbia) had average retail electricity prices of 11.93 c/kWh, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

 

The 21 states without mandated RPS requirements had average retail electricity prices of only 9.38 cents/kWh.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/

 

The logical conclusion is, the more RE, the higher the electric rates, regardless of energy mix on the grid.

 

California, US and Vermont Electricity Prices, All Sectors: The weighted average US prices includes high California prices and quantities, a major component of the weighted average. Table 1 shows the weighted average US price including California. See URLs

 

http://www.neo.ne.gov/statshtml/204/204_2017.htm

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/California/

 

If California were removed, it would lower the US average. A comparison of California versus that lower US average shows California rates, all sectors, increased 24.06% and US rates (wo/California) only 5.45% during the 2010 - 2017 period.

 

California’s RE efforts are demonstrating, the more highly subsidized RE, the higher the electric rates. But that is only a part of the cost picture, as shown in section 1.

 

NOTE: The Vermont rates, all sectors, as posted by EIA, do not include the Efficiency Vermont surcharge and the Electric Assistance Program fee tacked onto electric bills, which has been increasing from about 6% in 2010 to about 8.0% in 2017 for most households. If EV and EAP charges were added, Vermont rates increased 12.12% and US rates (w/tiny Vermont) only 7.22% during the 2010 - 2017 period.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/efficiency-vermont

 

Year/All Sectors

CA

US, w/CA

US wo/CA

VT wo/EV & EAP

VT w/EV & EAP

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

2010

13.01

9.83

9.58

13.24

14.03

2011

13.05

9.90

9.66

13.80

14.67

2012

13.53

9.84

9.55

14.42

15.36

2013

14.29

10.07

9.74

14.62

15.63

2014

15.23

10.45

10.08

14.58

15.63

2015

15.50

10.42

10.03

14.36

15.41

2016

15.23

10.27

9.89

14.46

15.57

2017

16.14

10.54

10.11

14.57

15.74

Increase, %

24.06

7.22

5.45

10.05

12.12

Germany and Denmark Household Electricity Prices: The above correlates well with this graphic, based on Eurostat data. Denmark and Germany have advanced the most along the wind and solar installation path. They have the highest household electric rates in Europe. See graphic and Appendix.

 

ISO-NE Real-Time Grid Operating Data 

 

Fortunately, ISO-NE posts real-time data regarding grid operations, every few minutes, on a daily basis.

 

See URL, go to fuel mix graph, click on rectangle with arrow and download the outputs, MW, of the various electricity sources connected to the NE high voltage grid. The corresponding real-time demand, MW, is also posted and can be downloaded.

https://www.iso-ne.com/isoexpress/web/charts

 

ISO-NE Monitoring of NE Grid

 

ISO-NE computers continuously monitor, calculate and and record the operations of each of the generating plants connected to the grid and of the ones feeding into the grid, such as:

 

Electricity generation, MWh

Maximum output capability, MW

Minimum output capability, MW

Output percentage, which enables calculating plant efficiency and fuel consumption

Fuel type, which enables calculating combustion CO2 emissions

Available up ramping, MW, and up ramping rate, MW/min

Available down ramping, MW, and down ramping rate, MW/min

 

ISO-NE sums the outputs of all the gas plants and posts the total each minute on its website, as do many other grid operators. It does the same with all the nuclear, solar, and wind plants, etc.

 

ISO-NE sums the available up ramping, and up ramping rate, and sums the available down ramping and down ramping rate. That information is not posted.

 

If a large generator, with maximum output capability of 1000 MW, has an unscheduled outage, almost all the other plants have to increase their outputs (perform up ramping) to fill the gap (some plants are exempt, such as nuclear plants).

 

If available up ramping is insufficient, ISO-NE can order two pumped storage plants to quickly feed their outputs into the grid by discharging water from their upper reservoirs through hydro turbine generators, located up to 1000 ft feet below their upper reservoirs.

 

If available up ramping is still insufficient, ISO-NE, under its demand management program, can shut off non-essential electric service to a number of users (they had voluntarily agreed to it, and do get paid for it). This quickly reduces demand.

 

Wind and Solar During Summer Lulls

 

Normally wind is minimal and solar is maximal during summer, but often times both are near zero, sometimes for 5 to 7 days in a row, such as during a 6-day period in June 2017, which was analyzed in this article. See URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/analysis-of-a-6-day-lul...

 

NOTE: There was practically no wind and solar electricity during late April - early May of 2019, according to the ISO-NE published real-time, minute-by minute data. Such lulls occur at random, and have occurred in the past and can occur in the future, at anytime of the year.

Wind and Solar in Year 2035

 

It would be likely the following conditions would exist on the NE grid:

 

- All the nuclear plants would be shut down, because their licenses would have expired.

- All the gas, oil and coal plants would still be connected to the grid.

- The gas plants would operate as required, but the oil and coal plants would be “in reserve”.

- Electricity via tie lines, about 98% hydro from Canada, would increase as in table 4

- Installed wind and solar plants would increase as in table 1

- Electricity of wind and solar would increase as in table 4

- Electricity of various other sources would increase as in table 4

 

In table 1:

The 2030 values are estimates by ISO-NE, the grid operator

The 2035 values were extrapolated, based on installation rates during prior years.

ATM solar is after-the-meter solar fed to high voltage grids and monitored by ISO-NE, such as field-mounted.

BTM solar is before-the-meter solar fed to distribution grids, such as residential rooftop. It is estimated by local utilities and reported to ISO-NE.

CF is capacity factor.

A TWh is a billion kWh

 

Table 1/ Future wind and solar

MW in 2017

MW in 2030

MW in 2035

Wind, onshore and offshore

1279

7283

 8500

Solar, before the meter, such as residential rooftop

1501

6000

 7500

Solar, after the meter, such as field-mounted

890

6000

 7500

 

Installed Solar, MW, and Production, TWh, Would Increase as in Table 2

 

Table 2/Solar

2017

2018

2018

2018

2035

2035

2035

Installed

MW

MW

MW

Production

TWh

CF

TWh

CF

BTM

1501

1799

2.162

0.137

7500

9.013

0.137

ATM

890

1067

1.212

0.130

7500

8.519

0.130

Total solar

2391

2866

3.374

0.134

15000

17.659

0.134

 

Installed Wind, MW, and Production, TWh, Would be as in Table 3

 

Table 3/Wind

2017

2018

2018

2018

2035

2035

2035

Installed

MW

MW

MW

Production

TWh

CF

TWh

CF

Onshore

1300

1300

3.232

0.284

4250

10.566

0.284

Offshore

35

35

0.135

0.440

4250

16.393

0.440

Total wind

1335

1335

3.367

0.288

8500

26.959

0.362

 

The Load on the NE Grid Would be as in Table 4

 

- 2018 are actual values.

- 2035 values for wind and solar were extrapolated from ISO-NE estimates for 2030

- The TWh/d are annual average values.

- Oil and coal plants could increase their production, but they have been placed in “reserve”

- It would be likely almost all of the energy efficiency of 10,000 TWh in 2035 would result in a reduction of gas generation from 50.511 TWh to about 40.511 TWh. However, increased use of heat pumps and EVs likely would add about 10,000 TWh/y of gas generation.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/replacing-gasoline-cons...

- New England would make NO difference no matter what it does, with India, China, etc., building hundreds of coal plants in future years. See table 4A.

 

Table 4A/Grid disturbing electricity

 2018

 2035

 

 TWh

TWh

Wind

 3.367

26.959

ATM Solar

 1.212

 8.519

BTM Solar

  2.162

9.013

Total wind and solar

6.741

44.491

World total electricity

26000.000

 

 

Table 4/NE electricity sources

2018

2018

2018

2035

2035

2035

TWh

TWh/d

%

TWh

TWh/d

%

Fossil

52.781

0.145

42.680

52.781

0.145

33.01

Gas

50.511

0.138

40.844

50.511

0.138

31.59

Oil

1.161

0.003

0.939

1.161

0.003

0.73

Coal

1.109

0.003

0.897

1.109

0.003

0.69

Nuclear

31.385

0.086

25.379

0.000

0.000

0.00

Renewables

10.788

0.030

8.723

63.844

0.175

39.93

- Wind

3.367

0.009

2.723

26.959

0.074

19.36

- Refuse

3.018

0.008

2.440

4.000

0.011

2.50

- Wood

2.698

0.007

2.182

3.000

0.008

1.88

- ATM Solar

1.212

0.003

0.980

8.519

0.023

5.33

- Landfill methane

0.448

0.001

0.362

0.650

0.002

0.41

- Farm, etc., methane

0.045

0.000

0.036

0.100

0.000

0.06

Other

0.400

0.001

0.323

0.500

0.001

0.31

NE Hydro

8.708

0.024

7.041

10.000

0.027

6.25

Imported H-Q hydro via tielines

21.409

0.059

17.312

34.750

0.095

21.74

Pumping loss

-1.804

-0.005

-1.459

-2.000

-0.005

-1.25

Electricity fed to high voltage grid

123.667

0.339

100.000

139.259

0.382

100.00

BTM solar fed to distribution grids

2.162

0.006

9.013

0.025

Additional energy efficiency

10.000

0.027

Total net load on NE grid

121.505

120.246

0.329

 

Owners heating/cooling their houses and other buildings and charging their EVs to travel from A to B could not possibly rely on variable/intermittent wind and solar in New England. They need steady, 24/7/365 electricity at high reliability, as provided by gas turbine plants. See graphic.

 

Multi-Day Wind Solar Lull, With High Demand, During Summer of 2035  

 

Wind and Solar Deficit: If wind and solar were assumed to be 15% of annual averages during a multi-day summer lull, about 0.15 x (26.959, wind + 8.519, ATM solar + 9.013, BTM solar) = 6.674 TWh/y would be present, or 0.018 TWh/d, instead of an annual average of 44.491 TWh,/y, or 0.122 TWh/d, for a deficit of 0.122 - 0.018 = 0.104 TWh/d.

 

Offsetting the WS Deficit: In 2018, the NE grid had about 14,800 MW of gas plants, producing 50.511 TWh/y, or 0.138 TWh/d, at an average CF = 50.511 TWh/y/(8766 h/y x 14,800 MW) = 0.534.

https://www.iso-ne.com/about/key-stats/resource-mix

 

The average daily “power burn” of gas was 50.511 TWh/y x 1/0.50, efficiency x 3412 Btu/kWh x 1 cu ft/1000 Btu x 1 y/365 d = 0.944 Bcf/d 

 

These plants likely could produce at a CF = 0.80 during high demands in summer, and increase output from 0.138 TWh/d to 0.900/0.534 x 0.138 = 0.208 TWh/d, for an addition of 0.069 TWh/d.

 

The “power burn” of gas would be 0.800/0.534 x 0.944 = 1.416 bcf/d,for an addition of 0.472 bcf/d.   

 

There are two alternatives:

 

1) The “Reserve” oil and coal plants could be put on line to add another 0.035 TWh/d, for a total addition of 0.069 + 0.035 = 0.104 TWh/d, which would offset the deficit. See table 6.

 

2) The demand management program could be activated to reduce demand by 0.035 TWh/d, which would reduce the remaining deficit to zero. 

 

If the two alternatives were insufficient, batteries, and/or additional hydro imports via tie lines, and/or additional “reserve” gas turbine capacity with additional gas storage facilities would be required, which would especially be the case, if even more wind and solar would be added after 2035.

 

NOTE: The Algonquin pipeline’s peak capacity is 3.1 bcf/d for all uses, including “power burn”, per EIA.

https://compressortech2.com/agt-withdraws-ferc-application-for-pipe...

 

Table 6/2035

Prod’n

Prod’n

Gas

Lull

Lull

Lull

Deficit

 

 

 

 

15% WS

TWh/d

85% WS

 

 

TWh/y

TWh/d

Bcf/d

TWh/y

 

TWh/y

TWh/d

Wind + Solar

 44.491

0.122

 

 6.674

0.018

 37.817

0.104

Offset with gas

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.069

Offset with DM

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.035

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gas, average

 50.511

0.138

0.944

 

 

 

 

Gas, peak

75.738

0.208

1.416

 

 

 

 

Additional

25.227

0.069

0.472

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 1

Cost Shifting is the Name of the Game Regarding Wind and Solar

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

APPENDIX 2

I googled “eurostat, household electric rates, c/kWh, in 2018, by nation”

I got this URL

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Electr...

 

Click on “Electricity prices for household consumers”. You will get these graphs. Prices are in euros; 1 euro = $1.117

 

APPENDIX 3

PV solar and wind have significant operational CO2/kWh, on an A to Z basis, from mine/oil well, to decommissioning.

 

Plus there is CO2/kWh embodied in the required infrastructures to make possible the A to Z operational phase.

 

Regarding LNG, there are two CO2 chains.

 

1) The operational CO2/kWh, on an A to Z basis, from gas well/fracking site to users and ultimately decommissioning, i.e., upstream extraction, processing prior to pipeline transport, NG pipeline transport to process plant for additional at harbor site, additional processing of NG prior to liquefaction, NG to LNG liquefaction, LNG storage, transfer to LNG carrier, ship transport to receiving harbor, transfer from ship to LNG storage, trucking of LNG to users, and/or regasifying to NG, feeding NG to existing pipeline system.

 

2) The embodied CO2/kWh for all the infrastructures and their ongoing maintenance, parts replacements to maintain them in proper order, on an A to Z basis, from gas well/fracking site to decommissioning.

 

Items 1 and 2 would each be significantly greater for LNG than for NG.

 

NOTE: According to these sources, 

 

- The upstream CO2 of NG, from gas well/fracking site to users, is about 17% of NG combustion CO2.

https://ceic.tepper.cmu.edu/-/media/files/tepper/centers/ceic/publi...

 

- The upstream CO2 of LNG, from gas well/fracking site to users, is about 43% of NG combustion CO2.

http://www.igu.org/sites/default/files/node-page-field_file/LNGLife...

 

NOTE: Here are some data regarding a part of the costly infrastructure chain for LNG: 

 

- Yamal LNG; operated by Yamal LNG company; owned by Russian independent gas producer Novatek (50.1%), Total, a French company (20%), CNPC (20%) and Silk Road Fund (9.9%); capital cost $27 billion; capacity 16.5 million mt LNG, 3 trains. 

 

- Yamal LNG 2: operated by Yamal LNG company; owned by Novatek (60%), Total (20%); Others (20%); capital cost $25.5 billion; capacity 19.8 million mt LNG, 3 trains.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/56f19604-fd6d-11e7-a492-2c9be7f3120a

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-14/russia-dreams-bi...

https://www.total.com/en/media/news/press-releases/yamal-lng-projec...

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Comment by Willem Post on May 2, 2019 at 11:32pm

Arthur,

I fully agree.

Not only are wind and solar political toys, but they are expensive toys that, without subsidies, would have to sell their electricity at about 50% more, plus the variability requires a lot of baby sitting by the other generators, which have the pleasure of producing less at lower efficiency.

Everyone gets screwed all around except the RE hucksters, bought politicians, such as the new, naive Maine governor and multi-millionaires seeking tax shelters.

Warren Buffett knows all about how that Wall Street game is played.

Comment by arthur qwenk on May 2, 2019 at 3:01pm

Max Power demand of  intermittent renewable sources occurs frequently when the renewable resource is at its least. This has long been known but is a no-no for the renewable scammers to discuss. 

Renewable generators too often provide power when not needed, and don't provide  power when needed, thus the term "non-dispatchable renewables". They function in inverse proportion to demand.

Dispatchable dense energy resources like natural gas generators and nuclear  supply the power as needed. They power modernity,grid scale  renewables at their present state of development are mere political toys.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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