California Begs For More Electricity As Shift To Renewable Power Leaves State In The Dark

Maybe it's time to admit that the whole "green" energy push is one big farce

Six months after a historic failure in the Texas power grid which collapsed when various "renewable" sources of electricity failed concurrently and dragged down the entire network, California - that liberal utopia powered by renewable power and/or unicorn flatulence - realizes it is about to get Enroned, and has made an urgent request for additional power supplies to avoid blackouts this summer, an extraordinary step after suffering from rolling outages less than a year ago.

State energy officials asked the California Independent System Operator, which runs most of the grid, to contract for additional power capacity for July and August on concern it won’t be able to meet demand during the evening when solar production fades, according to a joint statement Thursday from grid, utility and energy agencies. They didn’t say how much more power is needed but one can guess it will be a lot.

Of course, there was a convenient scapegoat on which to blame the collective lack of competence: global warming.

“California is using all available tools to increase electricity reliability this summer,” the heads of the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, and grid operator said citing “unprecedented climate change-driven heat events, which are occurring throughout the West in combination with drought conditions that reduce hydroelectric capacity.”

Right, it's always someone else's fault that you could not properly budget even a few months in advance after keeping millions of people in the dark last year when California again blamed... global warming. But if you know there is global warming, and you suffer one nightmare summer in the dark because of it, can't you extrapolate at least a year into the future?

In California, the answer is no.

Their statement underscores California’s challenges in the coming months as it begins summer already parched by drought that’s leaving hydroelectric reservoirs at historic lows. The state narrowly avoided rolling power outages recently as extreme heat came early this year, and with few new generation sources on the immediate horizon supplies tighten when hot weather hits.

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Comment by Long Islander on July 3, 2021 at 3:29pm

Two SA wind farms fined more than $1 million for their role in 2016 statewide blackout
The two companies were among four wind farm operators taken to court by the Australian Energy Regulator in the wake of the blackout, which resulted in the loss of power to 850,000 homes and businesses.
In December last year, the owner of the Snowtown 2 Wind Farm was ordered to pay $1 million.

The fourth and final litigation, against AGL, is set to be decided in August.
A formal review of the blackout found overly sensitive protection mechanisms in some South Australian wind farms were to blame.

Comment by Penny Gray on July 2, 2021 at 7:23pm

Relying on unreliables is risky business.  And sometimes deadly.

Comment by Willem Post on July 2, 2021 at 5:37pm



The New York Times, February 20, 2021, displayed a very revealing and useful graph, based on Energy Information Administration, EIA, data, of Texas electricity production, by source, a few days before, and a few days after, the major winter snow/icing storm, which started early evening, February 14, 2021. You can google it, but it is behind a paywall. The graph showed:


Texas does not import electricity, because it has minor connections to nearby grids.

Texas prides itself going it alone. Don’t mess with Texas.



Gas plant output was about 43,000 MW. The output decreased to about 29,000 MW about one day later, a 33% reduction (largely due to piping freeze-ups), then output went up and down, at an average of about 29,000 MW, to quickly/seamlessly counteract the output changes of other sources, especially of wind and solar.



Coal plant output was about 11,000 MW. The output decreased to about 8,000 MW about one day later, a 27% reduction (largely due to piping freeze-ups), then the output was about 7,000 to 8,000 MW



Wind plant output was about 9,000 MW, from an installed capacity of 30,904 MW (about 15,000 wind turbines at 2 MW each); the capacity factor was 9000/30904 = 0.29, which is less than the Texas annual average.


The output decreased to about 1,000 MW about one day later, an 89% reduction (largely due to freeze ups of 12,000 MW of capacity i.e., about 12000/30904 x 15000 = 5,825 wind turbines, or 5825/15000 = 39% of all wind turbines, per ERCOT, the grid operator. See URL


Then output increased to about 4,000 MW for about a day, then decreased to about 1,000 MW, etc., due to wind-velocity variations, i.e., bouncing around at a low level, due to a lack of wind.


The relatively few wind turbines on the Texas Gulf Coast were unaffected by the snow storm, and performed as usual.


NOTE: Some Vermont newspapers, such as the Valley News, stated some wind turbines were frozen. I almost choked when I read that. After I provided the facts (obtained after some googling) in a Letter to the Editor, there was no response.


NOTE: Wind turbines, whether producing or not, require electricity for self-use, i.e., each of those frozen wind turbines and all operating wind turbines would demand 30 to 60 kW from the grid, 24/7, for self-use; about 450 to 900 MW would be required by the wind turbines for self-use, 24//7/365. During the snow/icing event, the electricity likely would not be available.

See explanation in this URL



Nuclear plant output was about 4,000 MW. The output became about 3,000 MW about one day later (largely due to piping freeze-ups), a 25% reduction.


NOTE: If a wind turbine is rated at 1000 kW and produces an annual average of 300 kW, the CF is 0.3. Its output varies with the cubic power of wind velocity; 2 times the wind speed, 8 times the power, kW. If the other generators (mostly gas turbines) did not perform a lot of babysitting, expensively subsidized wind (and solar) could not even exist on the grid.


NOTE: Nuclear plants in the US have a FLEET AVERAGE CF of 0.91, plus they have had UP-RATINGS over the years, plus they have had 20-y LIFE EXTENSIONS over the years.


US nuclear plants normally operate at near 100% of RATED output for about 500 days, RAIN OR SHINE, then they are down for refueling for 4 to 5 weeks, then they run at 100% of RATED output for another 500 days.


They have been doing that for DECADES, RAIN OR SHINE, GW OR NOT





Solar plant output was near zero on the early evening of February 14, 2021. The output increased to 3,000 MW, from an installed capacity of about 13,000 MW during the following midday. On a sunny day, peak midday production from 13,000 MW of panels is about 13000 x 0.8 = 10,400 MW, but peak production was only 3,000 MW, i.e., 6,000 MW/ 0.8 = 7,500 MW of panels, or 7500/13000 = 58% of all panels, were covered with snow. Then solar output went to near-zero again, starting late afternoon/early evening, etc. Solar is almost never there when it is needed.


NOTE: In New England, which is much smaller than Texas, a wide-spread snow storm would cover almost all panels, at least for a few days, longer if icing would occur.


None of the above had anything to do with the Texas distribution and transmission grids.


This had to do with an unusual freeze-up, which: 


1) Temporarily, a few days, reduced output of traditional sources.

2) Covered 39% of wind turbines with snow and ice.

3) Covered 58% of solar panels in many areas


Texas should be:


1) Investing in insulation to protect critical power plant and grid systems

2) Retrofitting wind turbines with freeze protection systems, as do New England and northern Europe, a multi-year effort.

Comment by Willem Post on July 2, 2021 at 5:36pm



Newsom and his cabal are extremist proponents of idiotic RE policies, that have driven California to the brink of disaster regarding electricity generation, which has become increasingly unreliable and expensive, just as in Germany and Denmark, which have the highest household electric rates in Europe, by far.


The long-suffering, over-taxed, over-regulated California people have had enough of Dem/Prog RE shenanigans

Governor Newsom will be recalled. That is at least several years overdue.


California imports about 30% of its annual electricity from nearby Southwestern states and from Washington and Oregon to cover any electricity short-falls; it has major connections to those grids. This mode of operation sufficed, until the US southwest had a major, multi-day, heat wave; during heat waves winds are minimal.


As a result, electricity supplies, from mostly coal-fired plants from Southwestern states, to California were curtailed by the exporting states. The result was rolling black-outs for several days, with 115F temperatures, because, among other RE zealot idiocies, California had closed 15 of its 19 Pacific Coast, low-cost, highly efficient, low-CO2 emitting, minimal-polluting gas plants, because they were warming up the Pacific Ocean. The other 4 were due to close down, but that idiocy has been placed on hold, not cancelled.


None of the above had anything to do with the California transmission and distribution grids.


The real deficiency was: 


1) A lack of realistic energy policies

2) A lack of the usual imports during the heat wave

3) Insufficient spare generating plant capacity, MW, fueled, staffed, ready to serve, at a moment's notice.

4) A lack of planning, in case of high electricity demand during heat waves, with minimal wind and minimal imports


California is making the energy situation even less stable by pushing heat pumps and EVs, while California is shutting down fossil fuel plants and replacing them with wind and solar, and more imports.

The last remaining nuclear plant will shut down in less than 4 years. 


It won’t be long before California will be importing more than 50% of its electricity. This over reliance on unreliable electricity sources will result in massive electricity shortfalls during the next major heat wave.

Comment by Willem Post on July 2, 2021 at 5:31pm


Charging EVs and Electric Buses During Freezing Conditions


Normal Operation at 32F and below: On cold/freezing days, an electric bus battery would use on-board systems to heat the battery, as needed, during parking and driving.


When at home, it is best to keep EVs plugged in during periods with 32F and below, whether parked indoors or outdoors.

When parking at a motel, or an airport, it is best to fully charge EVs prior to parking, to enable the EV on-board systems to heat the battery, as needed, during parking.


Charging at 32F and below: Li-ion batteries must not be charged when the batterytemperature is below 32F, whether parked indoors or outdoors.

Although the pack appears to be charging normally, plating of metallic lithium would occur on the anode. This is permanent and cannot be removed with cycling.

Plating results in: 1) permanent loss of range, 2) sharp dendrites on the anode could create shorts inside battery cells, causing failures/fires, especially when exposed to rough road driving (potholes, etc.), or other stressful conditions. 


Power Failure, while parked at 32F and below:

Partially full EV batteries, connected to dead chargers, could use much of their remaining charge to prevent freezing of batteries, while parked, indoors or outdoors.

EVs and electric school buses would need to be driven to an operating charger.

See URLs.



- Batteries have miscellaneous losses to provide electricity to on-board systems, similar to Tesla and other EVs  

- On cold/freezing days, an electric bus should be ready for service as soon as the driver enters the bus

- On cold/freezing days, the driver would need at least 70% charge, because travel would require more energy per mile



If the battery temperature is less than 40F or more than 115F, it will use more kWh/mile

The higher efficiency range, charging and discharging, is 60F to 80F.

Batteries have greater internal resistance at lower temperatures.

Pro-bus folks often point to California regarding electric buses, but in New England, using electric buses to transport children would be a whole new ballgame, especially on colder days. See URLs


NOTE: Where would the electricity come from to charge and protect from cold, expensive batteries during extended electricity outages, due to multi-day, hot and cold weather events, with minimal wind and sun, as occur in California, Texas and New England?

Emergency standby diesel-generators? Emergency standby batteries?

Comment by Willem Post on July 2, 2021 at 3:32pm

California RE idiots closed down 15 of 19 gas turbine power plants on the Pacific Coast, because their cooling systems were warming the Pacific Ocean.

During a heat wave, the air is stagnant, i.e., no wind power over a multi-day period.

There is plenty of solar, but that is a midday affair, whereas heat waves are multi-day, 24/7 affairs; no AC at 115F!! Yikes!!

No wonder RE maniac Governor Newsom is being recalled. Several years overdue.

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."


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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