NE WIND AND SOLAR ELECTRICITY AND BATTERY REQUIREMENTS BY 2050

At present, gas turbine plants perform most of the peaking, filling-in and balancing services for the New England electric grid. Diesel plants also are used. If fossil fuel and nuclear plants were shut down, mostly hydro plants and battery systems would have to perform those services.

Projected Load on NE Grid 

Table 1 shows the energy sources of the NE grid in 2018, and the likely energy sources in 2050, with fossil and nuclear plants shut down.

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

At present, heat pumps for building heating and cooling requirements, and electric vehicles to replace light duty vehicles (cars, minivans, crossovers, SUVs, ¼-ton pick-ups) have a very minor impact on NE electricity consumption. Their impacts are projected to significantly increase in future decades. That increase would cause the grid load (electricity fed to NE grid) to increase to at least 160 TWh by 2050, despite on-going energy efficiency measures.

- In 2018, wind and “after the meter” solar were 2.7% and 1.0% of electricity fed to grid.

- In 2050, wind and "after the meter" solar are projected to be about 50% and 18.1% of electricity fed to grid. See URL

- In 2018, “before the meter” solar (mostly building rooftop and small, field-mounted systems connected to local distribution grids) was about 2.162 TWh. That electricity was self consumed and/or fed to local distribution grids.

- BTM solar is projected to increase to about 4.783 TWh by 2027, and could be 10 TWh in 2040 and 15 TWh in 2050. See table 1 and graph in URL. 

http://isonewswire.com/updates/2018/3/29/draft-load-forecast-indica... 

 

Table 1, NE electricity sources

2018

2018

2018

2050

2050

2050

TWh

TWh/d

%

TWh

TWh/d

%

Fossil

52.781

0.145

42.7

0.000

0.000

0.0

Nuclear

31.385

0.086

25.4

0.000

0.000

0.0

Renewables

10.788

0.030

8.7

116.750

0.320

73.0

Wind

3.367

0.009

2.7

80.000

0.219

50.0

Refuse

3.018

0.008

2.4

4.000

0.011

2.5

Wood

2.698

0.007

2.2

3.000

0.008

1.9

ATM Solar

1.212

0.003

1.0

29.000

0.079

18.1

Landfill methane

0.448

0.001

0.4

0.650

0.002

0.4

Farm, etc., methane

0.045

0.000

0.0

0.100

0.000

0.1

Other

0.400

0.001

0.3

0.500

0.001

0.3

Hydro

8.708

0.024

7.0

10.000

0.027

6.3

Imported via tielines

21.409

0.059

17.3

34.750

0.095

21.7

Pumping loss

-1.804

-0.005

-1.5

-2.000

-0.005

-1.3

Electricity fed to grid

123.667

0.339

100.0

160.000

0.438

100.0

BTM solar

2.162

0.006

15.000

0.041

Total

125.829

175.000

 

Duck Curves and Batteries

 

Future higher quantities of ATM solar would cause “major duck” curves on high voltage grids on a daily basi, as in southern Germany and Southern California.

 

Future higher quantities of BTM solar would cause “mini duck” curves on distribution grids that could be minimized with many thousands of small/medium capacity batteries that would absorb excess solar around noon hours and make it available around peak hours in late afternoon/early evening. See page 61 of URL

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2018/04/final-2018-p...

 

This daily shifting of BTM solar is very expensive per kWh, because of the very high cost of small/medium capacity batteries, which have a maximum life of about 15 years and lose about 10% of their capacity during their life.

This URL has capital costs and storage costs per kWh of turnkey battery systems. The energy costs/kWh are in addition to the energy cost/kWh of any PV solar, or grid electricity, fed into these batteries.

NOTE: With various subsidies, the capital and energy costs/kWh can be made to appear very low. However, real costs never disappear, per Economics 101. They are merely shifted from system owners to others in various obscure ways.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powe...

 

NOTE: The daily shifting of BTM solar has nothing to do with weekly, monthly and seasonal shifting of ATM solar. For those purposes many larger capacity batteries, GWh-scale, distributed near load centers throughout NE, would be required. The largest battery in the world has a capacity of 0.129 GWh. That largest battery also has nothing to do with weekly, monthly and seasonal energy shifting. See next note.

 

NOTE: The Tesla Powerpack 2 system in Australia, the largest in the world, has a rated capacity of 100 MW/129 MWh delivered as AC. The battery system feeds electricity to the grid or absorbs electricity from the grid to:

 

- Smoothen the variable output of the nearby 315 MW French-owned wind turbine system to minimize it “upsetting” the high voltage grid. Synchronous-condenser systems perform a similar function.

- Prevent load-shedding blackouts and

- Provide stability to the grid, during times other generators are started in the event of sudden drops in wind or other network issues.

 

The turnkey capital cost was about $66 million, or 66 million/129,000 = $512/kWh; this is a low price, because Tesla was eager to obtain the contract. Here is an aerial photo of the system on a 10-acre site.

 

https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/26/teslas-enormous-battery-in-a...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornsdale_Wind_Farm

 

Required Battery Capacity for a 7-Day Wind and Solar Lull and Battery Capital Cost

In New England, simultaneous wind and solar lulls occur at random throughout the year. They are more prevalent in summer and winter, according to minute by minute, real-time electricity data posted on the ISO-NE website every day. During such lulls, total W&S/day could average only 1/5 of the normal total W&S/d.

- If total W&S were a small percentage of electricity fed the grid, as in 2018, the other generators can easily make up any lull shortfall.

- If total W&S were a large percentage of electricity on the grid, as would be the case in 2050, the remaining generators and tie lines to other grids would be insufficient to make up any lull shortfall.

- Large capacity batteries, TWh-scale, would be required. Additional W&S systems would be required to help keep the batteries filled, and to make up for charging and discharging losses.

In the below analysis, it is assumed:

 

- W&S is at 0.2 of normal output during the 7-day lull.

- The battery is ¾ full at start of lull and ¼ full at end of lull, i.e., the battery capacity must be 1.5 times the lull shortfall. With minimal wind and sun, wind turbines and solar panels were nearly useless regarding keeping the batteries filled.

- The “Holy Grail” turnkey cost of battery systems is $100/kWh, as AC fed to HV grid, would be achieved by 2050.

- The discount rate is 9%/y, because investors and utilities usually require such returns on invested capital.

- The battery life is 15 years.

- The capacity reduction due to aging of the batteries, about 10% during the 15-y lifetime, is ignored. It is usually accounted for by increasing the battery capacity by 10% upon installation.

 

Based on the above assumptions, the battery turnkey capital cost would be $207 BILLION, and the annual cost to amortize the batteries at 9%/y over 15 years would be $25.2 BILLION. See table 2

NOTE: In 2050, NE hydro plants would feed electricity to grid at about 0.027 TWh/d. They likely could temporarily increase their output to about 0.030 TWh/d, for a total increase of 0.03 x 7 = 0.21 TWh for 7 days. That would be significantly less than the lull shortfall of 1.669 TWh. See table 2

NOTE: In 2050, the NE grid operator could ask for increased imported electricity via tie lines. The imported electricity likely could temporarily be increased from 0.095 to about 0.110 TWh/d, for a total increase of 0.15 x 7 = 1.07 TWh/d. That would significantly decrease the battery capacity and turnkey capital cost by about 65%. See table 2

The above proves, using batteries for peaking, filling-in and balancing services, 24/7/365, would be extremely expensive, even at “Holy Grail” battery prices of $100/kWh.

 

The batteries would have to cover 1) multi-day wind and solar lulls and 2) multi-day other events, which occur at random throughout the year, such as major weather and equipment outages (snow and ice on panels, automatic shutdown of wind turbines during a polar vortex, failure of a transmissions lines due to icing and high winds, etc.).

 

https://dailycaller.com/2019/02/27/green-new-deal-wind-power/

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/new-england-will-need-t...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/a-likely-scenario-durin...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/will-wind-solar-hydro-b...

Increased Canadian Low-Cost Hydro Electricity Much Less Costly Than Expensive Batteries

 

In 2050, additional tie line capacity to nearby grids, plus modifications to the NE grid could be in place for total capital cost of about 10 - 15 billion dollars, which would be amortized over 40 years, i.e., much better than amortizing very expensive batteries over 15 years

 

- The annual electricity would be increased from 21.4 TWh in 2018 to 34.75 TWh in 2050. See table 2

- The daily electricity would be increased from 0.059 TWh/d in 2018 and 0.095 TWh/d in 2050. See table 2

- The tielines would be designed for temporary supply rates of 2.0 TWh/d to cover any extended shortfall of wind electricity during summer.

 

That would mean:

 

Any future 7-day W&S lull shortfalls of electricity would be eliminated, plus,

 

Grid-scale batteries would not be required, because the hydro plants of H-Q would efficiently, and reliably, and at very low cost, perform most of the peaking, filling-in and balancing of the NE grid, just as the Norwegian hydro plants have been doing for Denmark and Germany for decades. See table 2.

 

See spectrum Vaclav Smil URL

 

https://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/environment/a-critical-look-at-cla...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powe...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/partial-capital-cost-of...

 

Table 2/Year 2050

Batteries

Increased H-Q Hydro

Increased H-Q Hydro

Plus Batteries

No Batteries

Normal wind plus ATM solar, TWh/d

0.298

0.298

0.298

Wind plus ATM solar during lull, TWh/d

0.060

0.060

0.060

Daily shortfall, TWh/d

0.238

0.238

0.238

Lull period, days

7

7

7

Lull shortfall, TWh

1.669

1.669

1.669

Increased H-Q hydro, TWh

1.070

1.669

Remaining lull shortfall, TWh

0.599

0.000

Charged into batteries, TWh as AC

1.669

0.599

In batteries, TWh as DC

1.517

0.544

Discharged from batteries, TWh as AC

1.379

0.495

Loss, AC to AC basis, TWh

0.290

0.104

Loss, AC to AC basis, %

17.36

17.36

Battery not full

1.5

1.5

Battery capacity, TWh as AC

2.069

0.742

Increased tie lines

Capital cost @ $100/kWh, $billion

207

74

10 - 15

Useful service life, year

15

15

Amortize @ 9%/y for 15 y, $billion/y

25.2

9.0

Shutting Down Fossil and Nuclear Plants

After the NE fossil and nuclear plants are shut down, the NE grid would be highly vulnerable, because it would not have sufficient generating capacity, that is not dependent on the wind blowing and the sun shining:  

 

1) For providing the peaking, filling in and balancing electricity of the NE grid, and

 

2) For providing a large enough steady, dispatchable electricity supply during multi-day wind and solar lulls

 

As minimum, before shutting down fossil and nuclear plants, the NE grid should be provided with:

 

1) At least a doubling of tie line capacity to other grids, and

 

2) Modifications to the NE grid to distribute the additional tie line electricity throughout New England.

 

A failure to do so would be highly irresponsible.  

APPENDIX 1

Hydro-Quebec Electricity Generation and Purchases: The H-Q electricity supply is an order of magnitude cleaner than the Vermont supply. Google this URL to obtain the 2017 facts
http://www.hydroquebec.com/sustainable-development/energy-environme...

 

Table 5/H-Q

2017

GWh

Hydropower generated 

177091

Purchased

44006

- Hydro

31610

- Wind

9634

- Biomass and waste reclamation 

2021

- Other

741

Total RE generated and purchased

221097

 

NOTE: Gentilly-2 nuclear generating station, plus three thermal generating stations (Tracy, La Citière and Cadillac) were shut down.

 

Hydro-Quebec Export Electricity: H-Q net exports were 34.4 TWh/y in 2017; provided 27% of H-Q net income, or $780 million, i.e., very profitable.

 

H-Q export revenue was $1,651 million in 2017, or 1641/34.4 = 4.8 c/kWh.

See page 24 of Annual Report URL.

This is for a mix of old and new contracts.

Revenue = 1641

Net profit = 780

Cost = 1641 - 780 = 861

Average cost of H-Q generation = 861/34.4 = 2.5 c/kWh

 

GMP, a monopoly utility in Vermont (77% market share), buys H-Q electricity, at the Vermont border, for 5.549 c/kWh, under a recent contract. 

GMP buys at 5.549 c/kWh, per GMP spreadsheet titled “GMP Test Year Power Supply Costs filed as VPSB Docket No: Attachment D, Schedule 2, April 14, 2017”. That reference has mysteriously disappeared

H-Q is eager to sell more of its surplus electricity to New England and New York.

 

Canadian hydro electricity is at least 50% less costly per kWh than ridgeline wind and large-scale field-mounted solar, both of which need to be heavily subsidized to make their electricity appear to be less costly than reality.

 

GMP sells to me at 19 c/kWh, per rate schedule. Consumers pricing for electricity is highly political. That pricing is implemented by rate setting, taxes, fees, surcharges, etc., mostly on household electric rates, as in Denmark and Germany, etc.

 

The household rate setting is influenced by the need to protect/promote “State RE policy objectives”, which include highly subsidized, expensive microgrids, islanding, batteries, and overly expensive net-metered solar (GMP cost of 21.813 c/kWh), and uneconomical heat pumps. See URLs and Appendix

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/green-mountain-power-co...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fact-checking-regarding...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-baseless-claims...

 

Here are some additional sources of information:

 

http://www.hydroquebec.com/sustainable-development/energy-environme...

http://news.hydroquebec.com/en/press-releases/1338/annual-report-2917/

http://www.hydroquebec.com/data/documents-donnees/pdf/annual-report...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/increased-canadian-hydr...

APPENDIX 2

Validating the Amortizing Method Regarding Solar Subsidies: The amortizing method of determining battery energy costs can be applied to wind and solar systems as well.

 

Its validity can be demonstrated by applying it to a private investor-owned, 1000 kW, field-mounted PV solar system, of which the production would be sold to GMP, a Vermont utility owned by a Canadian/French company, under the Vermont Standard Offer program, at about 11 c/kWh for 25 years, after a competitive bidding process.

 

- Competitive SO bid prices for PV solar are well known. See note.

- The capital cost is amortized at 9%/y over 25 years. That percentage is used, because electric utilities, as regulated companies, and owners usually earn at least 9%/y on invested capital.

- Applying an effective capital reduction of 57%, due to subsidies, leads to electricity costs, c/kWh, close to recent SO bid prices. See table 7

 

The bid SO prices have been gradually decreasing from 30 c/kWh about 7 years ago to about 11 c/kWh in 2018, due to:

 

- The continued decreasing trend of turnkey capital costs. That decreasing trend appears to have bottomed out in New England.

- The various subsidies, direct and indirect, effectively reducing the capital cost by at least 57%.

 

Table 7 shows:

 

- The electricity cost is 25 c/kWh, no subsidies

- The electricity cost is 10.8 c/kWh with 57% subsidies, which is close to recent SO bid prices of about 10.97 c/kWh. See note and URl.

 

NOTE: The MartinBrookPV project, placed on line December 2018, receives 0.1097 c/kWh for its production for 25 years under the Vermont SO program.

http://www.vermontstandardoffer.com/sop-production/2018-standard-of...

 

NOTE: No economic cost ever disappears, per Economics 101. The various subsidies merely shift most of the costs from owners to the general public; a political smoke and mirrors game to make solar (and wind) look good. The owners can claim: “Solar (and wind) is competitive with fossil”. Nothing would be further from the truth.

 

Table 7/PV Solar

No Subsidies

57% Subsidies

System capacity, kW

1000

1000

Capacity factor

0.145

0.145

Hours/y

8766

8766

Life, y

25

25

Degradation, 10%

0.1

0.1

.

 

 

Production year 1, kWh/y

1271070

1271070

Production year 25, kWh/y

1143963

1143963

Average production, kWh/y

1207517

1207517

Lifetime production, kWh/25y

30187913

30187913

.

Turnkey capital cost, $

3000000

1290000

Amortizing at 9%/y for 25 y, $/mo.

25176

10826

Lifetime payments, $

7552800

3247689

.

Cost, $/kWh

0.250

0.108

APPENDIX 3

1) A typical “Vermont mix” house, 2000 sq ft, requires for space heating about 64000 Btu/h at -20F outdoor and 65F indoor (85F temperature difference), and requires for space cooling about 20,000 Btu/h at 100F outdoor, and 70F indoor (30F temperature difference). Heat pumps would provide about 32% to 34% of the heat during the heating season, with the rest provided by the conventional system and would provide 100% of space cooling.

 

Government heat pump programs, such as in Vermont and Maine, which subsidize the installation of heat pumps in such houses would have unacceptable outcomes, if the goals were significant energy cost savings and CO2 reductions. See URLs.

 

2) A highly sealed/highly insulated house in Vermont, 2000 sq ft, requires for space heating about 17000 Btu/h at -20F outdoor and 65F indoor, and requires for space cooling about 5,000 Btu/h at 100F outdoor and 70F indoor (30F temperature difference). Heat pumps would provide 100% of space heating and cooling.

 

Such a house would be about 10% more expensive than a “Vermont mix” house, because it would require an R-20 basement, R-40 walls, R-60 roof, triple-glazed windows (R-7 to R-10) and insulated doors (R-8 to R-10), and its leakage rate would have to be less than 0.6 air changes per hour, ACH, @ -50 pascal, as verified by a blower door test. In Vermont, about 1% of all housing is highly sealed/highly insulated.

 

These URLs describe what happens, if heat pumps are installed in energy-hog houses in Vermont and Maine

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fact-checking-regarding...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/heat-pumps-oversold-by-...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-baseless-claims...

APPENDIX 4

Burlington Electric Department of Vermont Severely Curtailed Its Heat Pump Program

 

According to BED press release, Efficiency Vermont's estimated savings were grossly exaggerated. "BED is scaling back its 2018 – 2020 projections of HPs installed in the City of Burlington, VT, due to the results of a 2017 VT DPS evaluation report". See URL.

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/Energy_Efficiency/Reports/Evaluation%20of%20Cold%20Climate%20Heat%20Pumps%20in%20Vermont.pdf

 

The VT-DPS evaluation report indicates:

 

- The owners of the surveyed HPs had average savings of about $200/heat pump per year

- The owners displaced, on average, only about 34% of their annual fuel oil, i.e., the other 66% of fuel oil was supplied by the traditional heating system.

 

The VT-DPS report did not mention other HP financial impacts on owners, such as:

 

- Annual loan payments to utilities, such as GMP. See table 1 and Appendix for details.

- Annual maintenance contract fees, at about $150 per year, no parts

- Cost for unscheduled outages, at about $150 per call, no parts

- Amortizing the $5000 heat pump at 5% for 15 years requiring annual payments of $474 per year

- Amortizing the $10000 traditional back-up system a 5% for 20 years requiring annual payments of  $792 per year

 

Instead of installing hundreds of HPs during the 2019, 2020, 2021 period, BED is now anticipating, i.e., making money available in its budget, to provide incentives for no more than 15 HPs during that period.

 

Those few HPs likely would be in pre-selected, highly insulated/highly sealed houses to ensure 85 to 100 percent of displacement of fuel oil. Google Burlington Electric 2018 Tier 3 Plan, which BED is required to submit the VT-Public Utilities Commission every three years. The Plan describes the BED HP intentions for that period.

NOTE: The BED intentions barely were mentioned by the VT mass media, because it does not bode well for the VT Comprehensive Energy Plan goal of 35000 HPs by 2025. That goal was based not on any analysis, but likely on a number picked out of a hat by bureaucrats. See Appendix.

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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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