ISO-NE real time "fuel mix chart" shows dismal performance of wind power

I have been checking the ISO-NE website regularly for the past few weeks, since they announced the addition of the "real time fuel mix chart".   The chart is on the bottom of the "ISO Express"  page.   Today's fuel mix has been typical.   Total demand follows a curve from low during the night to high during the day.   Renewables, mostly waste and biomass make up 6% of total generation.   885 MW of wind turbines, occupying about 80 miles of New England's mountain ridges, more than half in Maine, are generating a mere 22% of renewables, or about 1.3 % of total grid demand.  The first picture is the total fuel mix chart.  The second picture is the renewable fuel mix chart.   When will policy makers realize we are on a fool's errand with wind power?

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Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on July 12, 2015 at 7:42am

it is high time the media be honest but since so many of them have vested interest these lies are so hard to uncover ..and heartbreaking..but we must keep up our mission against wind power, which continues to despoil or beautiful State and its wildlife and nature..

Comment by Kathy Sherman on July 11, 2015 at 9:38pm
I can't agree more, Jim, and I had not been tracking biomass since 5 years ago when Pennsylvania (ironic in this context) had evaluated their potential for biomass. I also noted that in Denmark's touted electricity from 'renewable' that burning straw (hay) was huge. Definition is not 'low carbon', but I can't burn leaves that are indigestible and acidic to return carbon and minerals to earth. Sierra really hates the plants that burn trash and apparently the regs vary a lot by state regarding what is allowed in and pollutants like dioxin emitted. At that same time I was impressed by a talk on how much energy via plastics is in our trash.

That said, I have been pretty shocked looking at the ISO-NE numbers to see how much of 'renewable' is biomass and trash, and yet hydro does not count.

The other thing that does not count for RPS purposes is generation prior to whatever date or in many cases solar PV or other behind meter generation. The cinsequence in New Engl. is that incentives have fled from intended recipients (e.g., rooftop solar) to municipal and big solar PV and big Wind even if in smaller 'communiry-scale' number.

But what states count is so different, even between Connecticut and Massachusetts, and it matters in terms of what smaller generators, such as small hydro from Maine, can get incentives to survive against Big Wind.

For those that hope Gov. Baker's bill will help small Maine hydro, forget it. When the utilities are mandated they go for big generation involving very few 'producers'. Witness last round - just First Wind and NH Iberdrola (who dropped) and a third company that dropped prior to DPU.

None of that seems to be promotion of small local producers in a competitive marketplace, the myth of deregulation from late 90s and of ISO-NE itself. Or distributed generation. Not defined by low carbon, environmental impact (sustainability) or any cohesive policy.
A heck of a mess, and how do you tell tax- and ratepayers that YOU are the investors in this scheme and your rate of return will be -50%, -100% or -200%? And you will be killing ecosystems and displacing people from the very habitat needed to protect against whatever climate change.

I don't know but I do think it involves committed action in statehouses and pressure on governors, and education of local officials.
Comment by Penny Gray on July 11, 2015 at 5:51pm

But Mainers love the idea of biomass. It's renewable!  Trees are miraculous; producing oxygen, feeding on CO2, providing cooling shade, filtering our water, preventing erosion, creating rain.  And yet we wage war on our forests in the name of green energy.  Humans are strange creatures, ruled by greed and ignorance.  When will our forests be treated with the respect they deserve?  When will trees earn carbon credits?  When will we evolve to the point where we plant trees, not turbines?

Comment by Jim Wiegand on July 11, 2015 at 2:41pm

Even though this this real time fuel-mix cartoon chart shows how meaningless embellished wind energy production is to the grid,  it does expose the the big green lie.  That horrendous warm and fuzzy save the world lie about being used to sell wind projects.   


Then there are the rigged renewable energy mandates that have been put in place.  With "renewable" Biomass energy burning up our forest products, it is clear to see any of the so called climate benefits from wind energy are annihilated many times over from biomass energy production. This ecosystem burning industry also appears to be silently walking away with most of the Production Tax Credits being given away by taxpayers. Many companies like Nextera selling wind energy, are also in Biomass energy business.

As I stated in an earlier statement, burning wood for energy is highly polluting. “Power plants burning wood and other forms of biomass emit about 3,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour — an emissions rate that is approximately fifty percent higher than that of a coal-fired power plant.”

For those that are not aware Biomass cutting completely strips the land for their wood product harvest. When they are done the place looks like a Walmart parking lot. Look at the images below these are recent cuts. At the rate they are going, they will run out of biomass cuttings in a few decades. Then what? These cut forests and brush lands will never come close to regenerating.

I spent 2 decades in these remote lands and the destruction just in my life time to these rural landscapes is mind boggling.  We now have turbines slaughtering the flying species and below ground level, intensive biomass harvesting devouring the land.

 Look close at the images below because this West Coast  renewable energy monster is coming to Maine.

Comment by Kathy Sherman on July 11, 2015 at 9:37am
Thanks for that - I see that waste here not out of ARRA but the 1.5 cents per kWh that we pay locally for energy efficiency and that is likely to grow. Much of it goes to the audit and highly questionable calculations about cost-effectiveness that involves consultants of course.

At 9 AM ISO-NE shows what windwatcher had warned of about wind energy impacts on the markets - negative pricing. Very briefly and steeply negative about an hour ago. Wind generation is now down to 30.5 MW in New England of 1015 MW renewable and load of 14503 MW
Comment by Penny Gray on July 11, 2015 at 7:29am

This was posted in the Maine Wire: not sure how to post on this blog so I'll put it here.

Comment by Kathy Sherman on July 11, 2015 at 5:57am
It is 5 AM on a weekend and ISO-NE demand is at a low of just under 11,000 MW. Wind is said to be generating 118 MW of that; all 'renewables' just under 1000 MW.
Info on electricity consumption is important, if only in that it may be creating load (more in cold climate) in remote areas where demand has been low. But about the PTC, remember that the amount a New England Wind generator gets from PTC (even pre-tax value of over 3 cents per kWh) pales in comparison to what they get from tier 1 RECs in Massachusetts.

Wind Action has interesting report on capacity factors of wind energy by state for first quarter 2015 versus 2014, although it is only showing 686 MW for the New England states. In contrast to the marked drop in wind generation in most of the states with lots of installed capacity this winter, New Engl (and NY state) were about the same or increased (Maine 40%; VT 39%). In future, need to see how generation coincides (or likely not) winter peak demand during prolonged cold.

It thinking about turbines as electricity consumers, the off-site consumption at operating centers and increased volatility for ISO-NE to balance in their operations is also a consideration (although the numbers are likely impossible to get).
Comment by Penny Gray on July 10, 2015 at 6:40pm

Wow Pineo Girl that would be awesome.  Trying to pin down what the turbines use is tough, the idea these projects could purchase from coventional power plants and re-sell as "green"? Wow.  According to wind energy association stats, operation and maintenance costs at wind installations are approximately $31,000. per MW, of which 5% of that is power purchased off the grid to operate the turbines.

Comment by Pineo Girl on July 10, 2015 at 4:17pm

I am about to send a letter to the Commissioner of FERC to get the list of largest retail power purchasers from Bangor Hydro and CMP - I have an old letter from Bangor Hydro obtained through FERC FOIA that shows Rollins and Stetson are 2 of Bangor Hydro's largest retail customers! I could see them buying power to meet their PPA's - And then claiming they produced the power to FERC- And taking the PTC for the renewable energy!  

Comment by Kathy Sherman on July 10, 2015 at 1:32pm
I do not know what the wind speed is at the height of these ever taller towers, but right now they are shown to generate 202 MW which is only 23%. I recall the quarterly average CF for Maine projects being on the order of 16% in summer, and I would expect less wind in August, and that they might do a little better than in the earliest projects. So with Mars Hill spinning unfettered by noise constraints, 23% does not seem that inflated, but it does seem very pitiful to me.

What I am interested in is abrupt changes in output on an individual project basis, as shown very frequently in Ontario, rather than a broad region, because naively, I would think that would stress the transmission and grid most.
And from the ISO-NE site, things like is there even a hint that Big Wind results in 'cost suppression'. None so far, oil and coal fired up yesterday anyhow. Because the grid operators still needs to concern themselves with reliability, something the politicians and wind fans don't give a hoot about or maybe they don't grasp the concept.

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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