Battery Foolishness - The next big "green" scam coming our way

If battery storage is foolish in Florida, how foolish might it be in New England? It's a worthwhile question because more and more, we hear the "environmentalists" proclaiming that grid-scale battery storage is here. I wonder how many of these cheer leaders know anything about electricity.

Battery Foolishness in Florida

The largest electric utility in Florida is proposing building the world’s largest battery to smooth the output of solar energy installations.

Wind and solar energy are erratic. Output depends on when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. If only electricity could be economically stored, wind and solar would be a lot more practical, or at least, less impracticable. With storage, when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, electricity could be stored for use when the wind or solar was temporarily dead in the water.

There are two methods of storing electricity that are not entirely inadequate: pumped storage and lithium batteries. Pumped storage is best, but it requires two reservoirs at considerably different heights. That’s out of the question in pancake-flat Florida. Batteries are great for computers, cellphones and portable drills. They are even semi-practical for automobiles like Tesla’s products. But batteries are desperately expensive for smoothing out wind or solar energy.

Florida Power and Light (FPL), is proposing that the world’s largest battery that will be connected to a small solar plant. The battery will be capable of storing 900 megawatt hours of electricity. It will cost about $400 million. The solar plant in question has an average output of about 15 megawatts. The battery will be able to store 60 hours’ worth of the solar output. If it is cloudy for more than 60 hours the battery will likely run flat. There are over 100 cloudy days per year in nearby Tampa Florida, so one suspects that is cloudy for more than 60 hours, or 3 days in the row, from time to time.

The electricity exiting from a typical utility scale solar plant, without subsidies, costs about $70 per megawatt hour. Adding the battery to the system will jack up the price to more than $300 per megawatt hour. An interesting sidelight is that the energy stored in FPL’s 900 MWh battery is equal to the energy in 800 tons of high explosive TNT. That is about 1/20th of the energy released by the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, Japan. Given the many fires traceable to lithium batteries, that is something to think about.

FPL’s proposed battery is capable of supplying 400 megawatts for 2 hours. That is a high rate of discharge, making the system more expensive. So, perhaps, the battery is actually intended to be a peaking generator pressed into service when electricity consumption peaks briefly. I suspect that this is the case and all the blather about solar energy is a cover story to make the battery fit in with green psychology. The beauty of painting something green is that it makes foolish projects desirable. The problem with the battery as a peaking generator is that for about the same money one can buy a combined cycle natural gas plant that can supply 400 megawatts for as long as you want, not just for two hours. Further the electricity from the gas plant will cost $50 per megawatt hour, not $300.

The profiteers who have painted wind, solar and batteries fluorescent green are very good at propaganda and changing the subject. Somehow reducing CO2 emissions has become an urgent priority. The profiteers never make a peep about the 86% of CO2 emissions that come from places outside our borders. China is building hundreds of new coal generating plants, the biggest emitters of CO2. Wind and solar are 70% subsidized. Now green ideologues are lobbying Congress to add batteries to the green welfare rolls.

Read the full article at the following weblink:

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Comment by Marie Jane on April 9, 2019 at 2:04pm

Eversource Battery Projects Advancing On Outer Cape, Vineyard via @BostonomiX   TWO BATTERY PROJECTS PROVINCETOWN/MARTHA'S VINEYARD ..  .. "A 25 megawatt, lithium-ion battery system, to be located in a Cape-style building in Provincetown,.." (" designed to provide 10 hours of backup power in the winter and as much as three hours during the summer,..") … "The second project, a nearly 15 megawatt facility on Martha's Vineyard, has also received approval from the state Department of Public Utilities." 

Comment by Willem Post on April 9, 2019 at 12:15pm


Here is my Hornsdale article.

The same will happen in Florida.

Grid regulation and arbitrage.

The direct and indirect subsidies are worth 2/3rd of the financial benefits, electricity sales the other 1/3


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


(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 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?" 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.”

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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."

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