Wind Power Totally Fails When Needed the Most

Here we go again, as usual! We are in the midst of a heat wave, with the highest demands of the year on the New England grid. We need to dispatch more power as demand soars far beyond base load. To what source do we turn? Gas fired plants--maxed out. Crank up the oil fired Wyman plant on Cousin's Island, fouling Maine air with the largest single point of air pollution in the state--GRRR!!! Prices soar as ISO-New England searches the spot market!
But what about wind power? Not a single megawatt all week! The wind is still or feeble at best during these hot days, so when the New England grid needs more power, wind is a total failure. WIND POWER CANNOT BE DISPATCHED TO THE GRID WHEN NEEDED! It is, at best, a fickle trickle source of intermittent, unpredictable, unreliable electricity that wouldn't even exist except for unduly favorable subsidies (per MWH). It is a scam and a scourge on Maine's natural and scenic resources.

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Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on July 6, 2018 at 1:34pm

Yet another factor working against wind are the losses on hot days from long transmission lines:

nergy Management/Energy Efficiency

How big are Power line losses?



Electricity has to be transmitted from large power plants to the consumers via extensive networks. The transmission over long distances creates power losses. The major part of the energy losses comes from Joule effect in transformers and power lines. The energy is lost as heat in the conductors.

Considering the main parts of a typical Transmission & Distribution network, here are the average values of power losses at the different steps*:

  • 1-2% – Step-up transformer from generator to Transmission line
  • 2-4% – Transmission line
  • 1-2% – Step-down transformer from Transmission line to Distribution network
  • 4-6% – Distribution network transformers and cables

The overall losses between the power plant and consumers is then in the range between 8 and 15%.

Is it the biggest challenge?

This must not be mixed up with the efficiency of power plants like nuclear, coal-fired or natural gas turbine. These technologies are based on a thermodynamic cycle, which efficiency is in the order of 35%. This means that the combustion of coal, for example, will produce heat, which will be converted into mechanical energy and then into electricity.

The global transformation is summarized on the picture below where “units” represent units of energy.

From the energy assessment, it can be concluded that 100 units saved at home can save 300 units saved at the power plant. This should be a real encouragement to save energy for a greener environment.

Don’t mix up heat and electricity!

However, it is important to note that the units saved at the power plant are units of heat, and not units of electrical energy. Each unit saved at home represents one unit of electrical energy saved at the power plant, in addition to the energy saved along the line. As mentioned earlier, this represent between 8 and 15% of the electrical energy produced.

Otherwise, this energy assessment relates to fuel burning power plants, and not to renewable energy like hydro-electricity or wind turbines. These technologies have a much better efficiency and do not produce heat for the energy conversion. The 100 units saved at home represent much less than 300 units saved at the power plant.

But this is not a good reason for wasting electricity!

 

*Reference: IEC document “Efficient Electrical Energy Transmission and Distribution” (2007)



Comment by Willem Post on July 6, 2018 at 12:36pm

Lon Islander,

Here is an other ISO-NE site.

ISO-NE Real-Time Grid Operating Data:Fortunately, ISO-NE, the New England grid operator, 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 NE electricity producers connected to the high voltage grid. The real-time load, MW, on the NE grid system is also shown.

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

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/daily-shifting-of-wind-...

Comment by Willem Post on July 6, 2018 at 12:33pm
Comment by Penny Gray on July 6, 2018 at 12:30pm

Ramp up the nuclear and hydro. Why are we wasting time and money on boutique power sources?  We need science-based energy policies utilizing "all of the sensible" and rejecting the rest.

Comment by Long Islander on July 6, 2018 at 11:00am

Wind is a virtual non-factor on these hot days across ISO-NE

See the following ISO-New England 2018 daily generation by fuel type data:

2018_daygenbyfuel_SUMMARIZED.xlsx

Screenshot of last 10 days for select fuel types:

Please keep in mind that these data are for electricity generation only. So as insignificant as wind is here, bear in mind that in Maine, electricity generation accounts for less than 10% of annual CO2 emissions. In other words, when you see wind here at 1%, it's really 1% of a tiny percentage. Maine is being destroyed and Mainers' lives turned upside down for this nonsense. It's all about money - taking ours and putting it in the pockets of the wind developers and those they've "gotten to".

Comment by Stephen Littlefield on July 5, 2018 at 2:54pm

Excellent Point! Couldn't have said it better!

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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