THE VAGARIES OF SOLAR IN NEW ENGLAND

VAGARIES OF SOLAR  

 

In summer, expensive, weather and season-dependent, highly subsidized, variable, intermittent solar dozes off in late afternoon/early evening, during peak electricity demands, sleeps all night, and does not wake up until about mid-morning the next day, becomes very active around midday creating DUCK curves, especially on sunny days, then dozes off again in late afternoon/early evening, during peak electricity demands.

 

In winter, solar dozes off in late afternoon, sleeps all night, and does not wake up until about mid-morning the next day, becomes very active around midday creating DUCK curves, especially on sunny days, then dozes off again in late afternoon.

 

Variable Cloudiness: In New England, the output of solar systems varies up and down with variable cloudiness, throughout the year. That creates disturbances on distribution grids, which become more severe with increased deployment of solar systems.

 

Those disturbances can be mitigated/attenuated, if owners of larger solar systems (the major disturbers) would be required to install battery systems. Politically, this may not be feasible, because it would increase the already-high price of solar electricity. See image.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

VAGARIES OF WIND 

 

In New England, throughout the year, wind is very often near zero from late afternoon to the middle of the next morning. That includes peak demand hours.

 

Combined Wind/Solar Lulls: In New England, combined wind/solar lulls occur throughout the year, and can last 5 to 7 days.

 

Grid and Generating Capacity: The grid (poles, wires, transformers, substations) and traditional generating capacity must be designed to serve peak demands, whether solar and wind electricity exists or not, because both very often are near zero during peak demand hours. Shutting down traditional generators is not an option. See note.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-is-going-to-hel...

 

Utility-Scale Battery Systems for Electricity Storage: Some people claim utility-scale battery systems could take the place of combine-cycle, gas-turbine, CCGT, plants.

However, the batteries would add a significant cost to the cost of any electricity passing through the batteries, as explained in this article.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powe...

 

NOTE: US CO2 emissions from electricity generation are down to 1980 levels, mostly due to fracked gas, and wind and solar, replacing coal. It is likely the CO2 reductions of wind and solar are overstated by the EPA and the EIA.

 

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/11/11/eia-us-co2-emissions-from-el...

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/world-total-energy-con...

 

NOTE: Near-zero means less than 15% of what normally could be expected at that hour of year. See URLs.

 

DUCK CURVES IN VERMONT 

 

VELCO, Inc., is the manager of the Vermont high voltage grid.

The below graph shows the grid load (electricity fed to grid by generating plants) on an overcast day (blue line) and a sunny day (red line).

 

The grid load difference between an overcast day (small Duck) and a sunny day (big Duck), due to solar generation, was about 236 MW, about a 236/655 = 36% drop, which is far from trivial.

 

NOTE: The installed solar capacity of 306.30 MW ac, or 369.04 MW dc, at end 2018, could have had a peak output of about 290 MW at 2 pm.

The grid load, without solar, would be about 680 MW.

The grid load, with solar, would be about 680 – 290 = 390 MW.

See URLs and below graph

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-solar-market-pa...

https://www.iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2019/04/final-2019-p...

 

OUT-OF-STATE GENERATORS MANAGING DUCK CURVES 

 

Vermont is very fortunate, because the owners of traditional generators (mostly gas turbines), not located in Vermont, as a courtesy, reduce their outputs, sell less electricity, have less revenues from 7 am to 2:30 pm, and then have to increase their outputs, because solar is starting to doze off.

 

Such operation of gas turbines is less efficient, i.e., more fuel per kWh, more CO2 per kWh, more wear and tear of equipment, just as with a gasoline vehicle, i.e., solar is causing other generators to emit more CO2! The more solar, the more that effect.

 

I am surprised owners of gas turbine plants are not complaining about their losses.

 

In any case, these losses would not be charged to solar system owners.

 

They would be charged to ratepayers, taxpayers and added to government debt.

 

ELECTRICAL STORAGE SYSTEMS TO SUPPORT SOLAR 

 

The VELCO graph would have been more useful/educational, if it had shown the load curves without any solar generation. VELCO could have easily calculated such a graph, because solar generation can be calculated from 1) installed capacity, 2) weather data and 3) past performance, and 4) losses due to transmission and distribution. The graph would show two blue lines and two red lines, and their peak demands likely would be earlier than with solar.

 

With that information storage capacity, MWh, could be estimated for storing a quantity of solar electricity during midday for use by ratepayers during late-afternoon/early-evening, after accounting for about 15% of losses for any electricity passing through the batteries.

 

However, there are significant CO2 emissions, if going the solar/battery combo route, on a lifetime, A to Z basis. Usually that is not mentioned, or quantified, in spreadsheet format, and thus legislators, and lay public, have no idea. Ignorance is bliss or self-deception, your choice.

 

NOTE: The storage capacity would be needed, only if traditional gas turbine generators were arbitrarily/politically shut down to reduce CO2, to “save the world from climate damage”.

 

TURNKEY CAPITAL COSTS OF STORAGE SYSTEMS 

 

Current capital costs for engineered, turnkey storage systems in New England are at least $800/kWh, delivered on as AC to the grid. These are systems with a life of about 15 years, i.e., most of the capital cost would repeat every 15 years.

 

There are hopes turnkey capital costs of engineered, turnkey systems in New England may decrease to, say 600/kWh, delivered as AC to the grid. Those prices likely would not happen for at least 5 years.

 

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/world-total-energy-con...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powe...

 

The existing installed solar capacity was about 438.84 MW dc, at end 2019

The VT CEP mandates installed solar capacity at 3000 MW dc, at end 2050.

 

Vermont uses an average of about 800 MWh/h during peak demand, which lasts about 3 to 4 hours, a total use of 2400 to 3200 MWh.

Wind and solar likely would be near zero during peak demands

 

If there would be insufficient capacity, MW, of traditional generators to deal with the midday Duck curves, various storage systems would be needed to absorb the midday surge of solar and release it in late-afternoon/early-evening to serve peak demand.

 

Assume Vermont battery storage is 2000 MWh, which could be delivered as 500 MW for 4 hours.

The other 800 – 500 = 300 MW would have to come from other sources, such hydro, demand management, etc.

The turnkey capital cost of 2000 MWh of storage would be at least 2,000,000 kWh x $800/kWh = $1.6 BILLION

 

NOTE: The tiny squiggles of the blue- and red lines are due to users turning on and off electrical equipment.


Multi-Day Wind/Solar Lulls 

Sometimes wind/solar lulls occur lasting 5 to 7 days, when their combined output is less than 15% of normal. Such lulls occur at random throughout the year in Vermont, and all of NE (and in Germany, the UK, etc.).

 

If solar and wind were each 22.5% of annual supply to the grid by 2025, and suddenly both would be just 0.15 x 45 = 6.75%, where would the other 38.25% come from for SIX DAYS? See Note.

 

Here is an example of a 6-day summer lull.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/analysis-of-a-6-day-lul...

 

Here is an example of a multi-day winter lull.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-plus-solar-plus-s...

 

- Storage systems? The costs likely would be charged, not to solar system owners, but to ratepayers, taxpayers and added to government debt.

- Standby traditional plants? The costs to have them fueled, staffed, in good working order, ready to operate, likely would be charged, not to solar system owners, but to ratepayers, taxpayers and added to government debt.

 

Solar is merely a “high-maintenance” cripple. It could not exist on the grid without major grid support.

Solar needs high subsidies to make it appear less costly than in reality, i.e., subsidies and cost shifting to reduce its cost/kWh

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

 

Solar and Wind Complementing Each Other in New England?

Solar may be 30% in summer, and 15% in winter, on average

Wind may be 15% in winter, and 30% in winter, on average

Naïve RE people look at this, and conclude solar and wind “nicely complement” each other, which to energy systems analysts is pure nonsense.

How could non-existent solar at night in winter “nicely complement” wind at night in winter?

And how would that happen during a 5 to 7-day wind/solar lull?

Would such people be part of the “Council of Wise Men”? See URL

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-global-warming-sol...

 

Table 1 shows the prices of solar, before and after subsidies, and before and after cost shifting, in sun-starved New England.

 

Table 1/Vermont & NE sources

Total

Grid support*

Subsidies

Paid to

GMP

 Added to

cost

cost

to owner

owner

adder

rate base

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, new

24.7

2.1

5.2

17.4

3.7

20.8

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, legacy

25.5

2.1

5.4

18.0

3.7

21.7

Solar, com’l/ind’l, standard offer, new*

22.7

2.1

9.6

11.0

?

11.0

Solar, com’l/ind’l, standard offer, legacy

34.3

2.1

10.5

21.7

?

21.7

Wind, ridge line, new*

18.8

2.4

7.4

9.0

?

9.0

* Grid support includes FORTRESS VERMONT grid extension/augmentation, storage to deal with DUCK-curves, curtailment payments to solar system owners, traditional generators (mostly gas turbines) counteracting solar output variations, etc.

* Competitive bidding reduced prices paid to owner from 24 – 30 c/kWh to about 11.0 c/kWh

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fortress-vermont-a-mult...

Rutland, the Solar City of Vermont

 

Some years ago, RE enthusiasts dreamt up a scheme to have Rutland become the Solar City of Vermont. There would be enough panels to power the City, plus storage to have continuous electric service, 24/7/365.

 

Wind turbines were considered and rejected, because they were politically unacceptable, plus they hardly produce any electricity during summer months.

 

The combined output of wind and solar likely would produce very little electricity in late afternoon/early evening, the hours with little sun and little wind and peak demands. A major quandary!

 

Rutland, with a population of 15,300, at end 2018, would have an estimated demand of 15300/625000 x 1000 MW = 24.5 MW, and an estimated fed to grid of about 146,880 MWh.

 

Solar panel capacity required would be 146880 x 1000/(1250 kWh/kW) = 117.5 MW, if all panels were functioning every time the sun is shining. Additional capacity would need to be installed, because some systems could be defective/underperforming, or down for maintenance.  

 

If solar,

- Almost all of this “fed to grid” would take place from about 9 am to about 4 pm, in summer.

- Very little of this “fed to grid” would take place from 10 am to about 3 pm, in winter

 

Enough storage would be required to cover this seasonal variation to ensure continuous electricity service, 24/7/365.

 

That storage would much larger than required for a 5 to 7-day wind/solar lull, which could occur at any time during a year, per ISO-NE minute-by-minute electricity generation, by energy source.

APPENDIX 1

Wind and Solar Conditions in New England are Mediocre 

New England has highly variable weather and low-medium quality wind and solar conditions. See NREL wind map and NREL solar map.

 

https://www.nrel.gov/gis/images/100m_wind/awstwspd100onoff3-1.jpg

https://www.nrel.gov/gis/images/solar/national_photovoltaic_2009-01...

 

Wind:

- Wind electricity is zero about 30% of the hours of the year (it takes a wind speed of about 7 mph to start the rotors)

- Wind is minimal most early mornings and most late afternoons/early evenings (peak demand hours), especially during summer

- Wind often is minimal 5 - 7 days in a row in summer and winter, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.

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

- About 60% is generated at night, when demand is much less than during the late afternoons/early evenings

- About 60% is generated in winter.

- During winter, the best wind month is up to 2.5 times the worst summer month

- New England has the lowest capacity factor (about 0.262) of any US region, except the US South. See URL.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=20112

 

Solar:

- Solar electricity is strictly a midday affair.

- It is zero about 65% of the hours of the year, mostly at night.

- It often is minimal 5 - 7 days in a row in summer and in winter, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.

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

- It is minimal early mornings and late afternoons/early evenings

- It is minimal much of the winter months

- It is minimal for several days with snow and ice on most of the panels.

- It varies with variable cloudiness, which would excessively disturb distribution grids with many solar systems, as happens in southern California and southern Germany on a daily basis. Utilities use batteries to stabilize their grids.

- During summer, the best solar month is up to 4 times the worst winter month; that ratio is 6 in Germany.

- New England has the lowest capacity factor (about 0.145, under ideal conditions) of any region in the US, except some parts of the US Northwest.

 

NOTE: Even if the NE grid had large capacity connections with Canada and New York, any major NE wind lull and any major NE snowfall likely would affect the entire US northeast, i.e., relying on neighboring grids to "help-out" likely would not be prudent strategy.

 

Wind Plus Solar: 

ISO-NE publishes the minute-by-minute outputs off various energy sources contributing their electricity to the grid.

All one has to do is add the wind and solar and one comes rapidly to the conclusion both are minimal many hours of the year, at any time during the year.

 

Wind plus solar production could be minimal for 5 - 7 days in summer and in winter, especially with snow and ice on most of the panels, as frequently happens during December, January and February, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.

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

 

If we were to rely on wind and solar for most of our electricity, massive energy storage systems (a few hundred GWh-scale for Vermont, multiple TWh-scale for NE) would be required to cover multi-day wind lulls, multi-day overcast/snowy periods, and seasonal variations. See URLs.

 

Wind and solar cannot ever be expected to charge New England’s EVs, so people can get to work the next day, unless backed up by several TWh of storage, because wind/solar lulls can occur for 5 - 7 days in a row, in summer and in winter. BTW, the turnkey capital cost of one TWH of storage (delivered as AC to the grid) is about $400 billion.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-energy-l...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-example-of-elec...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/seasonal-pumped-hydro-s...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electricity-storage-to-...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/pumped-storage-hydro-in...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-hype-ver...

 

Shortcomings of Wind and Solar

 

Variable and intermittent wind and solar electricity cannot exist on any electric grid without the traditional, dispatchable generators performing the peaking, filling-in and balancing. Battery systems could be used, but the battery system turnkey capital cost would be about $400/kWh, based on AC electricity delivered to the high voltage grid. See Note.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-and-solar-hype-ver...

 

APPENDIX 2

Highly Sealed, Highly Insulated House

In 2008, Transformations Inc., Townsend, MA, was chosen among six builders to participate in the state’s investor-owned utilities Zero Energy Challenge, a competition to encourage builders to plan and develop a home with a HERS Index below 35 before December 2009.

 

Carter Scott, President of Transformations, Inc. brought together a team of design and energy experts to not only meet the challenge, but to figure out how to get all the way to zero, while still building an affordable, new house. The team designed a three-bedroom 1,232-sq ft house, called the “Needham," which has a “- 4” HERS rating, i.e., the house produces more energy than it is using. Sales price: $195,200 in 2009

https://www.buildingscience.com/sites/default/files/2011-03-08%20NE...

 

Major Design Features:

 

Roof (R75): 5 inches of high-density polyurethane foam, HDF, and 13 inches of high-density cellulose all along the slope of the second-floor roof rafters; 2 x 12s and a 2 x 4s held off by 3 inches for a thermal break separation 
Walls (R49): 2 x 4 outside wall; added a second 2 x 4 wall for a total depth of 12 inches; filled 3 inches with HDF and 9 inches with cellulose 
Basement Ceiling: 3 inches of HDF and a layer of R-30 fiberglass batts 
Windows: Paradigm triple-pane model with Low-E and krypton gas 
Heating/Cooling: Two Mitsubishi Mr. Slim mini-split, ductless, ASHPs

Ventilation: Lifebreath 155 ECM Energy Recovery Ventilator 

Leakage: About 175 cfm at 50 pascal*, per blower door test (or 284 cfm for a 2000 sq ft house. See table 8)
Solar: Evergreen Solar’s 30 Spruce Line 190-watt PV panels to create a 6.4-kW system;

Hot Water: SunDrum Solar’s DHW heating system

Heat Loss: About 10,500 Btu/h, at 70F indoor, 6F outdoor (or 2000/1232 x 75 delta T/64 delta T x 10500 = 19,975 Btu/h for a 2000 sq ft house, at 65F indoor and -10F outdoor, in Vermont)

*

50 pascal = 0.20 inch of water column

A standard atmosphere = 101,325 pascal

 

APPENDIX 3

Weatherizing Housing Units Reduces Minimal CO2 at High Cost

 

In 2017, about 2012 housing units were weatherized, for about $20 million, about $10,000/unit.

CO2 reduction about 6 million lb/y, or 2716 Mt/y.

 

Assuming the older houses would last another 30 years, the CO2 reduction cost would be $19.75 million/(2716 Mt/y x 30y) = $242/Mt, which is high. See URL, page 30

https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Legislative-Reports/Annual-2...

  

Because these units had an average fuel use reduction of 23%, does not mean they are out of energy-hog territory, i.e., they likely would still not be sufficiently energy-efficient for 100% space heating with ASHPs.

 

The rate of weatherizing is far too slow, and not "deep" enough, for the CEP 63% goal of space heating of all buildings using only ASHPs. See table 2

 

A new approach, hopefully not involving government and Efficiency Vermont, is needed.

 

1) Entire neighborhoods, with old houses, would need to be leveled for replacement with modern Passivhaus buildings.

2) A new statewide, enforced, building code is required. See URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-savings-of-air-sou...

 

Table 2/Weatherized housing units

2012

Average fuel use reduction, %

23

Cost, subsidies, $

11,083,404

Cost, owners, $

8,666,786

Total cost, $

19,750,190

Cost/unit, $

9816

.

CO2 reduction, lb

5,988,367

CO2 reduction, Mt/y

2716

CO2 reduction, $/Mt, based on 30-y life

242

 

APPENDIX 4

Table 3 shows space heat energy sources of Vermont houses, per CEP.

 

The CEP goal of 63% of buildings having ASHPs for space heat and DHW could be achieved, if buildings were highly sealed and highly insulated. Such buildings would have very low energy use that could be economically provided 100% by ASHPs, even with the cost of amortizing the ASHPs over 15 years.

 

An average Vermont free-standing house is nowhere near where it needs to be regarding economic heating 100% with ASHPs, even after standardized weatherizing.

 

An average Vermont free-standing house, with an ASHP, would displace only 27.6% of the traditional fuel, per CADMUS report. Standardized weatherizing might increase that percentage to about 35%.

 

Table 3/Housing units

Existing

Future, per CEP

Source

Description

Units

Source

%

Units

Cordwood/pellets

Primary fuel for space heat

65,000

Cordwood/pellets/biofuels

34

90,100

No. 2 fuel oil, propane or natural gas 

Primary fuel for space heat

190,000

ASHPs

63

166,950

Electricity

Primary energy for space heat

10,000

Fossil

3

7,950

Total

265,000

100

265,000

 

About 88,000 of Vermont's 100,000 free-standing houses, and about 59,000 of Vermont’s 66,950 apartments, condos, etc., are economically unsuitable for 100% space heat from ASHPs.

 

Only well-sealed/well-insulated, highly sealed/highly insulated and Passivhaus-style houses are economically suitable for 100% space heat from ASHPs

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/air-source-heat-pumps-a...

See table 4, and example of energy-efficient house in Appendix.

  

Table 4/Vermont

Built

Area

Htg. Demand

Pk. Demand *

Times

Air Leak

ACH

Unsuitable for ASHPs

%

ft2

(Btu/h)/ft2

Btu/h at -10F 

Passiv

ft3/min

@ -50 pascal

Typical older house

1750 - 1990

68.4

2000

40.0

80,000

12.6

2667

10.0

Newer house

1990 - 2000

10.0

2000

24.0

48,000

7.6

1600

6.0

Newer house

2000 - 2012

10.0

2000

20.0

40,000

6.3

1867

7.0

Suitable for ASHPs

WS/WI house * 

2012 - 2021

10.0

2000

15.0

30,000

4.7

800

<3.0

HS/HI house * 

2000 - present

1.5

2000

10.0

20,000

3.0

400

<1.5

Passivhaus*

1985 - present

0.1

2000

3.2

6,348

1.0

160

<0.6

100.0

*

- WS/WI = well-sealed/well-insulated

- HS/Hi = highly sealed/highly insulated

- Winter 99% design temperature: The outdoor air where you live will be colder than this temperature for 1% of the hours of a year (88 h), based on a 30-year average; that temperature is -10F in Vermont. See URL, page 112

https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/bldrs_lenders_raters/downloa...

- These leakage rates would be significantly less at lesser pressures. A whole-house ventilation system with heat-recovery ventilator, HRV, would be required.

APPENDIX 5

The electricity generation by a 5 kW, rooftop, solar system, standard panels, is about 6519 kWh/y (if new, not shaded, clean panels), as determined by an NREL program.

All you do is input your zip code, or address, and the tilt-angle of your roof, such as 9/12. See URL

https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php

 

The solar system has a regular meter and a PV meter

Assuming self-use at 200 kWh/month during midday

Column 3 shows the consumption without a solar system, as taken from electric bills.

Column 4 shows billed values

Column 5 shows the “banked” value, 953 kWh

Billed values of November, 219 kWh, and December, 363 kWh, totaling 584 kWh, were zeroed out by part of the banked value

The remaining banked value, 953 – 584 = 369 kWh, was forfeited at end of year.

 

A big advantage of having a PV system is almost all the taxes, fees and surcharges (a big percentage of the total bill) are much less as well, which means ratepayers without PV systems have to pay more.

 

That is all part of subsidies and cost shifting from owners to others to make solar look more attractive. See table 1 and URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

 

The Grid is Not a Battery: The electric grid does not store electricity. Any solar electricity not consumed, means owners of traditional generators:

 

1) Must reduce their outputs

2) Likely would operate their plants at a lesser efficiency (more fuel/kWh, more CO2/kWh)

3) Would sell less electricity

4) What they do sell has a higher cost/kWh associated with it.

 

Do those owners get compensated by solar system owners, or the state?

No, in New England.

Yes, in some states, and in some foreign countries.

Table 5/5 kW dc

Radiation

Gen

Self-use

Consumed

Regular

PV

Billed

Banked

Forfeit

9/12 roof angle

incl. self-use

Meter

Meter

Column

1

2

3

4=3-2

5=1-2

6=5-4

kW/m2/d

kWh

kWh

kWh

kWh

kWh

kWh

January

3.39

448

200

775

575

248

327

February

4.44

516

200

688

488

316

172

March

5.26

659

200

592

392

459

67

April

5.10

580

200

618

418

380

38

May

5.30

620

200

480

280

420

140

June

5.48

604

200

388

188

404

216

July

5.98

669

200

458

258

469

211

August

5.58

624

200

503

303

424

121

September

5.45

601

200

431

231

401

170

October

3.93

467

200

439

239

267

28

November*

3.20

380

200

599

399

180

December*

2.72

351

200

716

516

151

Annual

4.65

6519

2400

6687

4287

4119

537

953

369

APPENDIX 6

Back of the envelope calculations for a one-day wind/solar lull in New England

Assume the following:

 

- In normal operating mode, the electricity fed to the NE grid by generators is 65% wind and solar and 35% other sources, including imports, for a total of 125 TWh/y

- During a one-day W/S lull, increased demand management would reduce fed to grid by 10%, or from 0.342 TWh/d to 0.308 TWh/d

- W/S would be reduced to 15% of normal, or 0.033 TWh/d

- The shortfall becomes 0.308 – 0.153 = 0.155 TWh/d

 

Standby Capacity: A standby capacity of 10,000 MW of gas-turbine plants would be capable of producing 0.184 TWh/d, which would be more than sufficient to make up the shortfall, for a one-day lull, or a 5 to 7-day lull, followed by another multi-day lull, a few days later

 

No storage required, because the NG supply becomes the "storage"

 

If no NG supply, during a 6-day lull, at least 6 x 0.155 = 0.930 TWh would need to be delivered, as AC, to high voltage grids from at least 1.033 TWh of storage, which would require feeding into storage about 1.148 TWh, as AC, from the high voltage grid. See table 6

 

Table 6/Wind/Solar Lull in NE

Normal

Normal

Storage

TWh/y

TWh/d

Fed to grid, all sources, incl. imports

125.00

0.342

W/S

0.65

81.25

0.223

Other sources, incl. imports

0.35

43.75

0.120

Increased demand management during lull

0.10

12.50

0.034

Fed to grid/d, adjusted for DM

0.308

.

1-day lull

1-day lull

6-day lull

TWh/y

TWh/d

TWh/6d

W/S, remaining

0.15

12.19

0.033

Other sources, incl. imports

0.36

43.75

0.120

Fed to grid

0.51

55.9375

0.153

Shortfall/d

0.155

0.930

delivered

Gas turbine capacity, MW

10000

0.184

0.9

discharge loss

Hours

24

1.033

stored

Out of service factor

0.9

0.9

charge loss

Capacity factor, CF

0.85

1.148

feed-in

Production, MWh/d

183600

 

APPENDIX 7

Rolling Blackouts in California a Harbinger for New England

 

CAISO is the California Independent Systems Operator. Here’s their graph of renewables generation from the CAISO site:

 

 

Figure 1. Total generation by each type of renewables in California, August 14, 2020

 

The total of geothermal, biomass, biogas, small hydro, and wind is diddlysquat

Wind died around midday

Solar started to go to sleep around 6 pm in the evening.

Just about that time rolling blackouts started.

 

Here is a CAISO chart, showing the net demand,

Blue, traditionals + Green, renewables = Demand

Green is just a sliver at 7 pm, when peak demand occurs and remains a sliver for until 8 am the next day, when solar starts to build up. See figure 2.

 

  

Figure 2. Net demand for electricity in California, split out by the type of generation of the electricity

See figure 3 of the next day in URL.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/08/15/in-caiso-emergency-break-glass/

California Rolling Blackouts Were Predicted

 

California has had rolling blackouts 3 times in 4 days, and likely will have more. The main problem is California’s irrational shift from natural gas.

 

About 9,000 MW of gas turbine plants, enough to power 6.8 million homes, that were providing low-cost electricity to the grid, have been shut down over the past 5 years, as the state increasingly turned to unreliable, heavily subsidized, renewables that produce high-cost electricity. That leaves fewer options, after the sun sets and solar production decreases in the later afternoon, and the wind is not blowing as well.

 

Normally, California imports sufficient electricity from neighboring states, when its in-state generation is insufficient. But the sprawling heat wave blanketing the US southwest is pushing all power plants to near 100% capacity throughout the region.

 

California energy systems engineers have been warning this would happen for some years, so there should be no surprise it actually does happen. Let us hope New England RE dreamers will not pressure ISO-NE to emulate California’s foolishness.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/worst-heat-70-years-threatens-090000...

 

CAISO, the California grid operator, brags about how they “maintain reliability while maximizing clean energy sources”

 

California Unwisely Shutting Down 9,000 MW of Clean-Burning Gas Plants

 

California utilities were unwisely ordered by RE bureaucrats to shut down these plants, but they should have kept them for standby, i.e., staffed, maintained, fueled, ready to serve at a moment’s notice, in case of unreliable wind and solar not performing.

 

Batteries: Some RE bureaucrats say the rolling blackouts likely would not have happened, or would be less severe, if the planned battery systems had been built.

 

The turnkey capital cost of 9,000 MW of batteries with a 4-hour charge would be at least 36000 MWh x 1000 x $500/kWh = $18 billion.

The batteries would need to be recharged overnight to be available the next day.

Such battery systems have a 15 to 20% loss on an HV ac to HV ac basis. They last about 15 years.

Where would that recharging electricity, including losses, come from, if unreliable wind and solar were minimal?

 

Here’s the bottom line: If you add 10,000 MW of solar supply to your grid, as shown in Figure 2, you must have available about 10,000 MW of traditional fossil supply to cover times when unreliable renewables simply don’t cut it.

 

By blatantly ignoring that fact, RE dreamers can claim “renewables are ready for the market”.

Unreliable renewables are absolutely not “ready for the market”, without huge, ongoing subsidies and full fossil backup, and in a “pinch”, they are simply not up to the job.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-shifting-is-the-na...

 

All of this is the total and complete fault of the Democrats, who have run California since forever, aided by huge influxes of mostly Hispanic immigrants, who likely vote Democrat.

In Vermont, the only thing that makes any sense is to stop “emulating” California, immediately scrap GWSA, and concentrate on:

 

1) Energy conservation
2) Energy efficiency
3) Building net-zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses and other buildings, by the thousands, each year
4) Provide incentives to buy high-mpg vehicles, and punish energy-hogs that get less than 25 mpg, EPA combined

 

The above 4 items would save money for Vermonters, and make the state economy more competitive

All of the rest is just expensively subsidized hogwash that would not make one iota of difference regarding climate change.

APPENDIX 8

California Rolling Blackouts: It’s Not Just the Heat, It’s Also the Anti-Nuclear Power Stupidity

 

RE dreamers oppose a huge source of reliable, climate-friendly electricity that could have prevented the rolling blackouts in the Golden State.

 

Rolling electric power blackouts afflicted as many as 2 million California residents last week as a heat wave gripped the Golden State. (It’s apparently eased up for now.) 

 

At the center of the problem is that power demand peaks as overheated people turn up their air conditioning in the late afternoon just as solar power goes to sleep to mid-morning the NEXT day.

 

In addition, output from California’s wind farms was erratic. Currently, about 33 percent of California’s electricity comes from renewable sources as mandated by state law, ON AN ANNUAL BASIS. SOME DAYS THERE IS NEAR ZERO WIND AND SOLAR

 

Until this summer, California utilities and grid operators were able to purchase extra electricity from other states, but the current heat wave stretches from Texas to Oregon so there was little to none available to make up for California’s power shortage.

 

Completely ignored is that California has been shutting down a huge source of safe, reliable, always-on, non-carbon dioxide–emitting, climate-friendly electricity—that is, nuclear power. 

 

In 2013, state regulators forced the closing of the San Onofre nuclear power plant that supplied electricity to 1.4 million households. 

By 2025, California regulators plan to close down the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant that can supply electricity to 3 million households.

 

The problem of climate change, along with the blackouts resulting from the inherent vagaries of wind and solar power, are an indication California should not only keep its CO2-free nuclear power plants running, but also build many more of them.

APPENDIX 9

On August 19, 2020 (shortly after the rolling blackouts of August 14 and 15) the California ISO sent a letter to Governor Newsom clearly identifying that inadequate firm generation capacity was responsible for these rolling blackouts.
https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/uploadedFiles/CPUCWebsite/Content/News_Room...

 

The letter also noted that the CPUC is responsible for purchasing firm capacity, either from in-state or out-of-state generators, needed to meet electrical demand, i.e., in case CPUC does not purchase enough firm capacity, CAISO would not be at fault, if rolling blackouts would be necessary.

 

The CPUC has now issued a directive to the California utilities requiring that an additional 3,300 MW of firm capacity be procured by 2021 which is an acceleration by 3 years versus the prior timetable for this additional firm capacity of 2023.

 

The water quality control board was scheduled to shut down 4 additional coastal natural gas plants in August 2020, because of their use of ocean cooling. That plan was dropped at their hearing, because of the rolling blackouts.

 

Thus only 15 of 19 coastal natural gas plants have been shut down. These idiotic shutdowns are based on:

1) Likely "environmental damage of ocean cooling" and
2) Reducing the number of fossil plants on the books to make the states renewable progress look better for political purposes.

 

California, because of its absurd push for unreliable renewable energy, has to obtain its firm generation capacity needs by using the spot energy market, as was the case in the energy crisis and rolling blackouts of 2001.

 

During the August 2020 rolling blackouts, the western US region was in a heat wave.
There was not sufficient spot market energy available to California meet demand.
In 2019, California had to import 28% of its total energy from other state’s which is by far the most of any state in the nation.

 

Use of unreliable renewables is completely responsible for the most recent rolling blackouts, clearly demonstrating additional firm capacity is required to reliably serve demand, because of unreliable wind and solar being inadequate at the proper time.

 

Electricity rates in California have increased 60% more than average US electricity rates in the since 2009 These increases were created by its mandated renewable energy policies.

 

California's push for unreliable renewables is driven by its meaningless claim of “fighting climate change” The state's emissions reductions amount to a few tenths of a percent of present global emissions.

 

Future annual global emissions, primarily by the world's developing nations, are forecast to increase by billions of metric tons.

California hypes its unreliable solar and wind renewables, but the reality is, after nearly 15 years of government-mandated use of unreliable renewables, and many tens of billions of dollars in subsidies, they provided only 22% of the state's electricity in 2019, whereas natural gas provided over 34% of the state’s electricity.

 

Furthermore, EIA data shows electricity only represents about 20% of the state's total energy use with fossil fuels providing about 80%. Unreliable wind and solar provide only about 6.4% of the state's total energy.

 

California’s energy and emissions policy are in need of a massive overhaul with the present schemes driven by nothing but the “blithering idiocy” of the state's politically contrived climate alarmist and energy policy propaganda. That overhaul cannot be implemented by the same people

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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."

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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