Note that this article glosses over extremely expensive capacity payments associated with wind and solar, as well as their tremendous transmission and taxpayer expenses.
Solar panels were covered with snow and wind turbines were buffeted by storms......“We were definitely on the brink,” said Matt Kakley, an ISO-NE spokesman. “Had the cold snap continued longer or had there been further outages in the region, it was definitely possible that (rolling blackouts) could have happened.”.................But even the specter that operators might need to selectively switch off power to save the grid is proof to large electricity users in Maine that it’s past time to increase natural gas pipeline capacity in the region................In other instances, the region’s growing fleet of wind and solar energy generators might have been able to help. But data gathered by ISO-NE found that snow and clouds during the period limited solar output to a small fraction of its potential. Generation from wind farms, too, was variable in the fast-changing weather conditions. At times, wind farms also were unable to feed power to the grid because of transmission-line congestion..........................“The biggest issue going forward,” he said, “is whether those facilities will remain viable as policymakers look to carve out larger and larger pieces of the market for favored resources, which may not provide the same reliability as the plants they drive out of the market.”