A study led by wind developers, AWEA, turbine and solar panel manufacturers, and other renewable advocates paid for by our tax dollars through NREL/DOE concludes that renewables can supply up to 30% "penetration" in the Eastern US and Canada. Not included in the study is the cost of generation, transmission, or market rule changes needed for this to happen - which would of course be immense. The study does highlight the relatively clean ISO-NE grid compared to the other grids serving the Eastern half of the US, many of which are highly reliant on coal (black color in charts) and will remain so regardless of the proliferation of highly subsidized wind turbines and solar panels. It also shows that NY imports significant electricity from Hydro Quebec (light blue color), something New England could and should be doing.
Paula's Precious Pearl for today: When reading a 'technical' document under time constraint, read the conclusion first.
4 Key Takeaways
Using high-performance computing capabilities and new methodologies to model operations of the Eastern Interconnection at unprecedented fidelity, we found that the integrating up to 30% variable wind and PV generation into the power system is technically feasible at a five-minute interval. Achieving this level or higher penetrations of variable renewable generation would likely change the way traditional generation sources work on the system and could require operational changes such as increased coordination across the system. This study and the accompanying data sets and tools provide power system planners, operators, and regulators with new means and insights to anticipate and plan for operational changes that may be needed in cleaner energy futures.
So how much money did they spend to arrive at the conclusion they wanted/needed? I especially like the graphs that show that for any period of time if wind and solar contribute more, then coal and gas contribute less. Well, duh. And oh yeah, 30% is the break point, give us that much wind and solar and we'll be happy. You can do that without creating too much havoc and you'll get so much more benefit for the planet. Now all kneel and genuflect.
Speaking of wind, wouldn't the prevailing westerly winds from heavily coal dependent MISO and PJM (see map) carry their coal pollution, including poisons like mercury, right into Maine's forests and lakes? If so, does that mean if a Maine wind factory sells a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) to those states, they are allowed to send us even more airborne poisons? Certainly, electrons from Maine don't make it out of our self-contained ISO, so it's not like these high pollution areas (e.g., MISO and PJM) are burning less coal because of Maine wind. Rather, it sounds like they are potentially burning more coal because of Maine wind - and we are on the receiving end of their poisons. And save for Portland lawyers, we're not on the receiving end of any real money from wind, as that goes to the Wall Street crowd as well as foreign based grifters, here to grab U.S. tax money from our ever indebted country. It's a shame that those who should be looking out for us often have personal paydays so they do everything they can, in the face of reason, to help this industry destroy our state and steal from us.
Adding insult to injury, whereas electricity production is the leading source of CO2 across the country, it's hardly a CO2 "culprit" at all here in Maine. Our biggest source is driving, yet the legislature which saw passing Baldacci's heinous wind law as an emergency on the basis of CO2, just a few years later allowed the speed limits to be increased, creating far more CO2. What gives?
Lastly, does anyone know whether Mr. Baldacci is enjoying his post as Vice Chair of the nation's second largest wind company, Avangrid (Spain's Iberdrola) invariably patting himself on the back for his incredible IQ and foresight in shoving that wind law down our throats?
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