Guest “Of course they did” by David Middleton
ERCOT = Electric Reliability Council of Texas
H/T to David Youatt for this suggested topic.
June 14 ERCOT News Release
June 14, 2021
Tight grid conditions expected due to high number of forced generation outages
Grid operator requests energy conservation
AUSTIN, TX, June 14, 2021 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texans to reduce electric use as much as possible today through Friday, June 18. A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions.
Generator owners have reported approximately 11,000 MW of generation is on forced outage for repairs; of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal and the rest is intermittent resources. According to the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.
“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”
According to generation owners, the number of outages should decrease throughout the week.
Wind output for today is expected to be 3,500 to 6,000 MW between 3 and 9 p.m. This is roughly 1,500 MW lower than what is typically available for peak conditions. Wind output is expected to increase as the week goes on.
Today’s peak load forecast may exceed 73,000 MW. The peak demand record for June is 69,123 MW set on June 27, 2018 between 4 and 5 p.m.
June 14 Texas Tribune Article
Texas grid operator urges electricity conservation as many power generators are unexpectedly offline and temperatures rise
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says a large number of power plants are offline, but it could not provide details as to what may be causing the “very concerning” number of outages. At the same time, the state is experiencing near-record demand for electricity in June.
BY ERIN DOUGLAS JUNE 14, 2021
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said in a statement Monday that a significant number of unexpected power plant outages, combined with expected record use of electricity due to hot weather, has resulted in tight grid conditions. Approximately 12,000 megawatts of generation were offline Monday, or enough to power 2.4 million homes on a hot summer day.
ERCOT officials said the power plant outages were unexpected — and could not provide details as to what could be causing them.
Of the plants offline, about 9,600 megawatts of power, or nearly 80% of the outages, are from thermal power sources, which in Texas are largely natural-gas-fired power plants. That’s several times what ERCOT usually sees offline for thermal generation maintenance during a summer day. Typically, only about 3,600 megawatts of thermal generation are offline this time of year.
- Monday is today, June 15.
- The ERCOT statement had 11,000 MW offline, not 12,000.
- The ERCOT statement had the thermal sources at 8,000 MW offline, not 9,600.
Reality: Summer is wind’s bad season
Wind has been ramping down since May, while natural gas has been ramping up.
Wind has sucked so bad lately, that solar has outperformed it.
Let’s compare peak demand on June 14, 2021 at 4:00 PM to ERCOT’s expected peak summer 2021 capacity:
|1600 June 14, 2021|
|Expected Summer Peak Capacity||86,000||69,119||80.4%|
I calculated expected capacity by multiplying the expected total peak summer capacity (86,000 MW) by each sources share of ERCOT’s total capacity as listed in their June 2021 Fact Sheet.
ERCOT clearly didn’t expect wind to deliver 21,328 MW. They only expected wind to deliver 3,000 to 6,000 MW. At peak demand yesterday, wind delivered 3,681 MW. So, I suppose they could have semi-honestly stated that: “Wind was operating almost as well as expected”.
Wind not only sucks in summer, it sucks worst at midday during summer.
Natural gas kicks @$$
Unless ERCOT was expecting natural gas to deliver significantly more than 51% of 86,000 MW (June 2021 fact sheet), it delivered 104% of what was expected. Texas has two nuclear power generating stations: Comanche Peak and South Texas. Each station has two reactors. As of June 14, Comanche Peak 2 was offline. A June 15 E&E news article indicated that the 1,150 MW Comanche Peak 2 is offline due to a transformer fire. Comanche Peak 2 went offline on June 7. The E&E article also indicates >9,000 MW of thermal sources being offline. Since Comanche Peak 2 has been offline for a week, it’s not the difference between ERCOT’s 8,000 MW and the media’s >9,000 MW.
I don’t doubt that some thermal generation units are offline right now. It could even be the 8,000 MW cited by ERCOT. However, based on actual output, it’s hard to see anything under-performing except for wind power.
When the EIA Hourly Electric Grid Monitor gets updated for today’s output, I’ll post a sequel to see how things have changed since yesterday. The ERCOT website shows demand currently peaking at 69,597 MW, with about 3,100 MW of reserve capacity online.
Wind doesn’t just suck in Texas right now
Wind works pretty well in Texas… When it works, mostly spring and fall.
Last winter the SJW morons wailed that Texas wind power failed because we were too cheap to winterize our wind turbines. Being SJW morons, they never checked to see that the grids to the north of ERCOT (SWPP & MISO) experienced similar wind power failures. Well guess what? The winds in SWPP and MISO are also sucking right now.
The featured image is a “meme.” I have little doubt that SJW morons are already hard at work fact-checking it. I’ll be very disappointed if they don’t provide some comic relief in the comments section… Something along the lines of: “That wind turbine is not in Texas…”
The original image is from this article: The true cost of wind turbine fires and protection.
Wind in MISO is stupidity but they are planning to shutdown 2 large coal facilities in MI and replace them with wind. What could go wrong? Oh, and, they want us all to replace our autos with plug in EVs.
Musk is going to power his new battery and car assembly plants with wind power which sucks during midday in summer. Of course, solar is bulging during midday in summer, not so much in winter.
What could go wrong, if Musk has to run both plants 24/7/365?
Using wind and solar to run industry does not work in Germany, without Russian gas!!!
That is the reason Germany approves of NORDSTREAM 2, that brings gas directly from Russia to Germany, without having to go through
corrupt/obstructionist countries like Poland and Ukraine
But, Texas RE idiots are going wind and solar anyway, until it collapses all around.
That should happen soon, say within about 2 years.
While you are basically correct, it is going to take more than 2 years for the RE idiots in Texas to shed themselves of all their cherished concepts and ideas. That is because they have a powerful lobby in the Texas Legislature right now, that has been facilitated by their successes in persuading several Texas governors – Republicans George W. Bush and Rick Perry – to push the Legislature to subsidize wind and solar power in many different ways. Nothing of real substance appeared to have happened at the recent session of this Legislature to change much of what needs to be changed – namely, this inane lack of reserve capacity that generators are disincentivized financially from doing something about. Just so the politicians (in that penny-wise, pound-foolish style of theirs) can say “we want to keep electric utility rates LOW!”
As it is, I read an article the other day which said that the cost of the winter debacle that was going to be charged to the retail rate base over the next few years was about $38 BILLION! So despite the snafu that ERCOT has become, my gas and electric utility rates will (like the rest of the prices in the US economy that the senile hand of Joe Biden has just started to touch) go up big time.
Pay me now, or pay me later.
Pay me now AND pay me later, and forever after, until death parts all.
oh youll be paying alright
ZH ran item about texas power costs rising fast again due to shortages, hmm about a week or so ago?
I work in the Chemical Process Industry and the ripple supply disruption effects are still being felt in multiple feedstocks and raw materials. Add the CHICOM-19 effect and things are nuts right now.
Add the “Biden effect” and it’s *really* nuts right now.
Wait! Winds are variable? Oh my, that’s different. I must confess how much I’d been spoiled by steady baseload electrical generation, but then I’m guessing that this accounts for the ‘re-‘ in ‘renewable’ (not to be mistaken for reliable) as the wind once more rises from calm levels or the sun comes up. There’s certainly nothing else renewable about an electrical generation infrastructure that without major outside energetic effort can’t assemble itself to begin with, maintain adequate function thereafter, and even replace itself in the end. Just what kind of fool do you take me for with that promising label?
By the way, at the time I submitted the above the wind had dropped from producing 2000 MW during the night to no more than 500 MW for the grid during today’s California heat wave, as mid-day solar reached 11000 MW and natural gas topped 15000 to meet (along with imports, coal, geothermal, and the tiny residual nuclear) the 31000 MW demand.
They really want you guys to keep voting D all the time, especially in the major cities. Like the man says, the beatings will continue until morale improves.
It is becoming more and more obvious that renewables have wounded the ‘reliables’ badly in Texas. This is the indirect effect in addition to wind and solar not showing up.
I checked at EIA, which posts average over several years wind capacity factors by month for US and TX. Sure enough, the three lowest TX wind capacity factor months are June, July, and August—which are also TX three peak load months because of AC demand. Wind does least when needed most. Bassackwards!
How does solar do?
It goes out every night.
Works best from 9:00 AM to Noon… Kind of like a banker… 😉
Rud, not only is the seasonal demand/output for wind completely out of sync, the 24 hour cycle is – likewise – completely skewed.
If you go to any of the RTO/ISO websites (ISO-NE, ERCOT, CAISO, et al), you will see – right down to the minute – how wind drops off when it is most needed … late afternoon/early evening.
The above graphs in this fine post show this clearly.
Pure insanity, this.
What I like is that ERCOT has a mobile app out so that people can watch real-time as the capacity / load curves begin to intersect.
I’m independently working on a data-feed that takes wind prediction models and couples them with a wind generation database (with lat/long and nameplate) so that output can be predicted.
might be useful for GSOCs
“Wind does least when needed most.”
And then you get the occasional high pressure system (summer or winter) that comes in and sits on Texas, and that makes things even worse for windmill production, because the winds are very light, over large areas, under those circumstances.
Intermittent and makeup running at low capacity causes more maintenance cycles for gas or “thermal” powered plants and for their support infrastructure. Several reliable and comparatively clean coal plants have shut down recently, as well, before their end-of-life. Last I read they were to be dismantled rather than converted to gas (usually an expensive complete rebuild, but salvaging and recycling a substantial amount of infrastructure and support).
But the investigation/analysis won’t find any fault with ERCOT. Wonder who they’ll blame?
DK, true for all coal and for steam boilers fired by Nat gas.
Not true for CCGT. At full output, they run 61% efficient. Throttled back to 80%, they still run 60% efficient. Throttled back to 40%, they still run an amazing 58% efficient. They cannot run at all below 40% output. No maintenance issues across this amazing output range, since the gas turbines don’t care (based on jet engines that don’t care either), while the steam turbine ‘back end’ is relatively lower temperature so less stressed by duty cycling.
These facts really change the peak load equation. When FPL replaced two resid stations with CCGT, they intentionally sized the stations to run baseload 80% of peak. The new CCGT themselves become the peakers, and they were able to retire some old underutilized stand alone gas peakers on the south Florida grid.
My numbers are from GE CCGT. Siemens is about the same.
Fantastic, Rud. Looking at all the graphs, gas saves the day every time. What happens when gas goes away?
Thanks to fracking, but no thanks to Biden, natgas will not go away (at least in the US) for many decades. We can free up to about 25% of RiP, and that’s lots.
IMO we have several decades to explore 4 Gen nuclear, build pilot plants, then chose what to build out decades from now.
When natural gas goes away, there will be no batteries, wind turbines, solar panels, automobiles, trains, ships, lubricants, or plastics produced. But since it can’t happen on Earth while life exists, can’t see as it is something to worry about.
February demonstrated that wind is useless unless natural gas and coal can back it up 100%, while delivering 100% of their share of expected maximum peak base-load.
Blaming natural gas for the February 2021 disaster is like welfare recipients blaming taxpayers for not earning enough money to cover their welfare benefits.
“….like welfare recipients blaming taxpayers for not earning enough money to cover their welfare benefits.”
Best analogy ever, right here, boys and girls….
When gas begins to become less economically viable, we go back to coal, burned as cleanly and as completely as we can possibly engineer it, understanding that it’s not perfectly clean, but willing to accept the combustion by-products in exchange for the tremendous benefits of reliable generation.
Agreed. Mostly I was concentrating on shortened start-up or “idling” on standby for when the wind stops blowing, but my information is probably dated (by about 20 years).
As far as transformers and support infrastructure go, “shock” or quick changeover is just additonal cycle, or normal operations, but not necessary if the input power is reliable.
The grid just isn’t for storage, or for intermittent generation. It is an adapted (not designed) system for distribution and load balancing. Texas messed up about 20 ish years ago when they allowed intermittent generation capability to hook up without buffering.
The best power buffer is still natural gas generation.
dk: 20 years ago an oilman named Pickens went all-in on wind power, and he was a great salesman. He was also wrong, but he made another fortune by selling this fool idea to Bush in particular.
Oh man, Do I ever remember that, paul courtney!
Pickens was on everywhere pushing wind, wind, wind. I think he even paid for ads that ran nationwide.
It was something like, “This oilman can see that the future is wind.”
Well, this dumb ol’ engineer could see that the future was subsidies for T. Boone.
His hype infected my State a bit, but not too much. They built out maybe 50 or so whirligigs and that was pretty much it.
The Renewable folks really have an incredible scam going here.
Their subsidized, privileged position in these power pools are driving the coal plants right out of business.
Along the way, the Renewables get to point the finger at ‘failing’ thermals which are forced into operating under conditions for which they were never designed.
Pretty clever, but exceptionally duplicitous.
It’s welfare for the wealthy; paid for by the poor and middle class!
Like subsidies on EVs!
Old-style, low temp/low ox, “dirty” coal and steam generation should probably go away. So-called “clean” coal is probably quite useful even in “first-world” countries. Aside from green goon enablement of power production oligopoly, there’s also deliberate market manipulation by the CCP, which needs cheap coal to accomplish its goals.
There is no such thing as renewable energy, all those things require real sources of industrial energy in order to exist. Just another fiction that we are pushed into adopting by propaganda and indoctrination.
This is a good analysis. Accelerating and decelerating by substantial amounts will show up in increased maintenance.
Get a few more liberals from California joining Texas’ voting rolls and they’ll end up with 8 times as much solar to get through the midday peak when wind is especially weak. Throw in a few $billion for battery storage “just to be sure”.
The peak is in late afternoon when the sun is going down, just like Californistan.
I wrote my state senator about this, especially that we tried this failed experiment some 4 decades ago, knew about wind problems long before. Got this response from an aid.
“Thank you for reaching out about the shortfalls of renewable energy. Senator Kolkhorst agrees that we cannot rely 100% on renewable sources of energy. Senator Kolkhorst supported legislation that ensures that non dispatchable forms of generation have to pay when they are unable to operate. Further Senator Kolkhorst fought hard to end tax exemption programs like Chapter 313 that distort the Texas energy generation portfolio. Along with the passage of SB 3 that the provides mapping of critical infrastructure and fines for generators failing to winterize, hopefully balance will restored to the mix of power generation.”
I suspect that they are still putting up windmills, headed for whooping crane country. Whoopers are smarter than those who put up windmills though.
Kolkhorst, sorry to say, is one of those mediocre moderate Republicans who doesn’t rock the boat. Especially when it comes to the subject of whether deregulation has really been a success or not. She is one of those types I refer to above in my reply to Willem Post: penny-wise, pound-foolish. Her types are causing this $38 BILLION charge that generators and retail utilities are going to make upon the system rates in the next few years. Don’t expect the PUC to really do anything about it, either.
Here’s the summer resource adequacy report.
Wind makes up roughly 8,500 of the 86,000 MW of capacity ERCOT is planning to have this summer. At Hour 18 during the hottest day of the summer, they expect 8,500 MW of wind to be available.
They expect the summer peak to be 77,000 MW. The high-load case has an 80,000 MW peak. Any low-wind days are going to be dangerous.
“Any low-wind days are going to be dangerous.”
We found that out last winter… 😉
Yup, the non-winterized gas wells couldn’t produce.
“Yep, the non winterized gas wells couldn’t produce.”
Not quite that simple, but you’re directionally correct. Anyone from ERCOT or advising them, who thought that wind would not suffer in those 0.01% of the time (to date) near zero F conditions, with freezing water everywhere, should lose their phony baloney job. That is not what they were built to do.
As with current conditions, the least cost, most practical way to increase peak capacity is with hardening of the gas to electric system. Those working that system made rational decisions, but weren’t incentivized to harden for peak capacity. Rates should be increased to cost + indemnify those running/owning the system for that hardening.
The only work that should be required of the wind turbiners is to make the innards of the turbines more freeze resistant. Common practice north of Texas. There is work being done with blade de-sign and operation to improve deicing, but it does not appear to be commercial yet. Let them feather in cold, icy weather….
de-sign? How’z about design….?
Or get rid of the stupid windmills…that is the better option.
“who thought that wind would not suffer in those 0.01% of the time (to date) near zero F conditions, with freezing water everywhere, should lose their phony baloney job. That is not what they were built to do.”
Was it the cold temperatures or the lack of wind that was the cause of the windmills inability to produce power?
Is there any disproven trope that you aren’t willing to push?
It wasn’t the wells that failed. It was the pipelines. The pipelines failed because EPA regulations (You know, those federal ones that you seem to believe Texas is free to ignore) required them to power the pipeline pumps from the grid, instead of using natural gas generators, the way they used to.
Raw, unprocessed natural gas from the wellhead has a high moisture content which happens to freeze up when it gets really cold.
You obviously cannot read a Graph.
No kidding Joe, these pipes freeze all the time in the north. Of course with all this global warming…climate change….climate extinction we don’t need gas for heating. It’s just for show.
The massive amounts of gas coming from offshore were unaffected. Can’t say the same for compressor stations that were load shed.
Mr. belford: How clever! Gaslighting us with a NG meme!! So much better than one of your “in way over my head here but commenting anyway” gaffs.
More like load shedding compressor stations and nuke cooling water pumps turned out to be a dumb idea.
David, ERCOT’s assumptions are like the motto: when you assume, you make an a*s out of you and me. Given their statement about the amount of capacity that is supposedly out in maintenance just right now (8,000 MW), I don’t trust their estimates. We could be looking at a LOT of brownouts if the summer weather starts to torch up as usual in July and August. The high-pressure dome Texas usually experiences this time of year may just be getting started.
I can only hope that the fact I live across the street from a Plano fire station will save me again, just like it did this past winter.
ERCOT has a long way to go on its recovery from FUBAR… 😎
I would also add, that summer came in like a lion this week after an unusually cool and wet spring. Highs in the upper 90s – them’s are typically August temps.
“The high-pressure dome Texas usually experiences this time of year may just be getting started.”
I think it is coming this way.
It’s 90° in Houston today, so I guess I can unplug the space heater and save some electricity. I can always break out the sweaters if it gets any colder.
Did a cool front come through? Of all the things I miss about Houston, heat and humidity are not on that list. It’s hard to beat the variety of excellent food choices there, however.
Down to 88 °F, 62% humidity and a thunderstorm just rolled into downtown at about 6:00 PM.
That actually sounds nice for shorts and tee shirt weather.
We have very hot weather around Boulder this week and I thought the humidity was high. It was 30% this morning. It’s 12% right now, which is more usual.
I don’t believe you. Everyone knows the clouds in the thunderstorm radiated heat to Houston and raised the temperature. /sarc.
You have to watch that humidity if you are doing outside work. One moment you are going good, and then you hit the “wall”, totally exhausted.
The latest medical advice is not be become totally exhausted. It puts you at risk for adverse health effects. This doesn’t apply to young people. At least, not as much.
They really are saving the world by making life miserable? Or cashing in on temporary innovations.
Texans are proving they are not capable of taking care of their own needs. Not interconnecting to grids outside of Texas and avoiding Federal regulations is proving “beneficial.”
Maybe if you were to keep your jerking knee to a minimum, you would be able to see that not connecting to the national grid only allows Texas to avoid a small fraction of federal regulations.
You are correct MarkW, they avoided all the regulations about winterizing their grid…. (about 150 deaths due to hypothermia and CO poisoning this past winter)
The grid wasn’t the primary source of the problem. ERCOT’s failure to initiate load-shedding soon enough was the problem.
Wind failed a week before the deep freeze due to an ice storm. When the deep freeze hit, the winds died down across the entire Mid-continent.
Natural gas ramped up rapidly. However, demand due to temperatures plummeting to 40 F below normal forced some natural gas power plants offline.
Federal regulations are the reason natural gas compression stations were switched from natural gas powered to electricity. When the power failed, the compression stations went down. This restricted deliverability of natural gas before about 40% of production was shut in due to freezing weather. Even then, ERCOT was able to ramp up natural gas generation far more than the adjacent grids.
Load shedding is by definition a failure of the grid.
1) Would this recent failure of the Texas grid have happened if the recommended fixes from the 2014 failure been implemented?
2) If the Texas grid was under federal regulation, would the wind turbines have had deicing systems installed?
Advocates for Federal regulations always promise to be better, but in reality, any federal involvement makes things far worse. The Fe’ral government doesn’t concern themselves with the costs, they only focus on the hypothetical benefits increasingly divined by flawed and biased models.
The scope of the disaster would have been qualitatively smaller, if the 2014 recommended fixes had been completed. The failure was that of not raising rates to comp the gas to electric system managers to make those changes.
No, the turbines would not have had de-icing systems installed. Those are currently impractical. But they WOULD have had their innards winterized, per most units in colder areas.
If Texas had never installed the un-reliables, would there have been a problem?
1) It was 2011 and the answer is yes. The grid would have still been overloaded by 40 F below normal temperatures..
2) It wouldn’t have mattered because there was insufficient wind across the entire Mid-Continent during the deep freeze.
“It wouldn’t have mattered because there was insufficient wind across the entire Mid-Continent during the deep freeze.”
I think that is the key point to be made. The criticism is that Texas did not put de-icing systems on their windmills, but more northern States did take such measures and yet their windmill output mirrored the Texas windmill output, or rather, lack thereof.
I would say the failure of the windmills across the central U.S., because of a lack of wind, was the reason that the whole area, not just Texas, was experiencing rolling blackouts.
“If the Texas grid was under federal regulation, would the wind turbines have had deicing systems installed?”
Would it matter if the wind doesn’t blow?
Rolling blackouts, especially those managed by interruptible contracts, voluntarily entered into, can be a useful management tool. In California, the terms were so attractive that many of the offshore oil operators agreed to it, even though starts/stops for electrical submergible* pumps risks premature failures and 7-8 figure interventions (well pulls).
It’s a failure of the operator, not the grid.
You say po-tay-tu, I say pah-tah-toe
Typical for TEXAS
But as a resident of Texas Mr. Middleton, not only will you have to pay for the exorbitant bills for the “grid operator failure,” Your insurance premiums will be higher to pay off all the burst water pipe claims in Texas.
I pay a little less than the national average, ~$0.12/kWh.
Texas has the 5th highest homeowners insurance rates due to wind and hail damage risk. The 4 states with higher rates are Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Florida… All of which have greater wind and/or hail damage risk.
The overall cost of living in Texas is well below the national average.
That’s as retarded as saying… You say driver, I say car.
Load shedding is the responsibility of the grid operator. No grid can economically be designed to handle every possible weather situation. Deep freezes over such large areas of Texas, for such an extended period of time are extremely rare. In situations like February 2021, ERCOT has to proactively implement load shedding to maintain grid stability.
ERCOT failed to do the one job they were required to do.
“Wind failed a week before the deep freeze due to an ice storm. When the deep freeze hit, the winds died down across the entire Mid-continent.”
The lack of wind was the major cause of the windmill outage, was it not?
An arctic cold weather system is basically a large high pressure system that settles down over a huge land area and the winds don’t blow and when the winds don’t blow, the windmills don’t work. This was the situation over the entire central U.S. from the Canadian border down to the Texas Gulf Coast in February.
High pressure systems settle in over areas all the time, like one is doing over the U.S. southwest right now. I bet the windmills are not doing too good out there right now.
Is there anything you know that is actually true?
He cannot read graphs and charts, so has no clue about anything David Middleton is talking about.
He just keeps repeating the Green Blob propaganda.
Texas is inter connected. Current tie flows – is imported are:
DC_E (East) -396
DC_L (Laredo VFT) 0
DC_N (North) -218
DC_R (Railroad) -188
DC_S (Eagle Pass) 0
Get a brain.
Get educated: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article249283330.html
This is about ancient history and not relevant.
Do you know how big Texas is? Do you understand that transmission losses are proportional to the length of the lines? And the current flowing, etc. Where would more power come from to feed the 70,000 mw system? SPP has 30% less generation.
ERCOT has its problems and maybe more DC ties would help but it is interconnected.
PARTS of Texas are interconnected. ERCOT, by any measure, relative to the level of “interconnection” everywhere else in the CONUS, is not.
And you can be part pregnant??? Interconnected is interconnected.
Give me on measure that shows Texas is less interconnected than similar sized load configuration? System inertia? What?
“Do you understand that transmission losses are proportional to the length of the lines?”
THIS is what is not relevant. Line losses from interconnection are (1) highly manageable – that’s why we have those high voltages – and (2) not the reason for the absence of interconnection. It was all political.
“And you can be part pregnant??? Interconnected is interconnected.”
You are right. I tried to give ERCOT the benefit of the doubt by assuming that somehow, somewhere, there was some tiny degree of interconnection with other grids. But you got me. I don’t know of any.
How do you manage losses from very long transmission lines? No matter how high the AC voltage is current has to flow to move energy. Which creates losses. Maxwell’s equations have not been repealed.
So you either accept the losses as lines get near a quarter wavelength or you build DC ties. Which is exactly what Texas did. With nearly 1000 mw being imported at different points how can you say it’s not connected? Does the power flow by magic???
“So you either accept the losses”
Yes, you do. this is because they are commercially insignificant.
“as lines get near a quarter wavelength or you build DC ties.”
Documentation, please. Even the most egregious, commercially acceptable phase shifting is a tiny fraction of the “quarter wavelength” stressor you explicitly reference.
Here’s how it works, above ground. Your claim, your duty to back it up. Per Chris Hitchens:
“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”
Wait until ERCOT customer get the bill for this!!!
They’ll still be paying less than you.
No MarkW, here in Washington we pay less than folks in Texas
Washington has hydroelectric resources out the wazzoo.
Correct, and it’s not dependent on expensive fossil fuels.
Mr. Middleton, how deep a well in Texas do you have to drill to get temps of 100+ degrees C? You could do geo-thermal no?
100 C… Depends on where you are… Probably averages ~7,000 feet.
That sort of passive geothermal isn’t really an effective generation source. But people are looking at it.
It’s dependent on having rivers with adequate hydrostatic head. Washington has lots. Texas doesn’t.
Tell me, with growth, how will existing PNW hydro resources obviate the need for more FF generation. And, no, you can’t throttle the hydro electric system infinitely.
fossil fuels are an order of magnitude cheaper than wind and solar. And fossil fuel doesn’t cut out when you need it the most.
NOPE, if fossil fuels were cheaper, Texas would not install wind, because in Texas, not only do they have a plentiful supply of fossil fuels, they do everything on the cheap.
Have you never heard of Subsidies?
You green Zealots are all the same.
Your other name isn’t Griff is it?
Actually, it’s d**khead.
West Texas, particularly the Llano Estacado, has one the best wind power resources in the world. The state legislature decided to fund the build out of transmission lines from West Texas to the population centers (DFW, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, etc.) when natural gas was expensive (>$8.00/mmBtu) and in short supply (we were building LNG import facilities). This was before the shale “revolution” reversed the natural gas situation. Since 2008, natural gas has rarely been above $3.00/mmBtu and we began building LNG export terminals as fast as they could be permitted.
Wind made sense when the decision was made. It still makes sense when there are adequate fossil fuel resources to fully back wind up during its daily and seasonal total failures.
Wind is part-time base-load… A category that wouldn’t exist without government meddling.
“Wind is part-time base-load… A category that wouldn’t exist without government meddling.”
That is a very good way to put it.
“Wind made sense when the decision was made. It still makes sense when there are adequate fossil fuel resources to fully back wind up during its daily and seasonal total failures.
True, even given your conflation of known intermittency with “total failure”. Gas, especially, complements wind and solar as an electric power source. That is it’s proper role. The gas to electric system needs to be rewarded for performing that role. It needs to be prioritized for electric service in extreme conditions, and rates need to be increased to cost +pay them back for hardening that will minimize the impact of the next $100+B, 100+ lives event.
As for the true utility of wind, this event means very little. If you want to go subsidy for subsidy (including catching up with a century+ of shirked environmental, safety, health, asset retirement obligations*), with oil, gas, coal, and then do ranged, incremental, economic analyses of the system I am describing, v a non wind system, even including wind intermittency and neglecting the AGW you deny, then let’s rock…
*Happy to factor in wind ARO’s. Most of these sites will be used over and over. Turbine blades are mostly silica (sand), without the naturally occurring radioactive material found in most oil and gas fields. So they can be dumped – into the sea for that matter. Concrete can be hauled away/buried in place safely. Amortized total cost/future GWH will end up a tiny fraction of those for oil/gas/coal….
you might want to reconsider that statement, from my understanding washington is making a concerted effort to remove the dams from the rivers
“They’ll still be paying less than you.”
You might be right. Even with the increase involved in hardening up the gas to electric system, which is, by far, the low cost way of dealing with this problem, Texas naturally has many attributes which make it a low cost electrical energy provider. Most prominently, relatively abundant. cheap wind.
To the tune of $38 BILLION is what is expected in the way of charges.
A small fraction of the cost of last winter’s disaster.
That this is happening in Texas is especially worrying. It can only happen where key institutions have fallen into the hands of the Marxbrothers. Austin was the first permanently taken over city. Please Texas stiffen up.
Alberta used to be like Texas of several decades ago. With oil sands development they attracted labor from areas with heritage left politics and high welfare economies. (East Coast, Europe, etc.) You’d think this second chance at prosperity would change workers world view and politics. But nope, they just set about destroying the economy that opened the door to them. It is definitely a deeply psychological illness that causes this.
Please don’t disparage the fine people of the GrouchoMarxist movement! They find libtard morons just as offensive as all the other corrupt ideologues, hence their propensity to lambaste and ridicule the incredibly stupid belief in the value of Unreliables like wind and solar!
One can only imagine what great laughs our comedic greats could have made at the expense of the Climastrologists; most of whom lost their sense of humor when they got the introductory lobotomy required for their cult membership!
KarlMarxists, or, as I like to call them, idiots; are too ignorant to realize that they are espousing a system that is contrary to human nature and has failed horribly everywhere it has been tried! Only academics, government apparatchiks and guilt ridden nouveau riche would ever attempt to support such horseshit! I guess they love the idea of being able to lord over the little people, and if the peons misbehave you can shoot or imprison them! Kinda like all the other systems of slavery!
Gary, all members of the Public Utility Commission of Texas were appointed by Republican governors.
Yep, that is why we need Trump 😉
CA is worse than TX, regardless, subsidy miners love government.
You all need to accept this fact (purposeful, ongoing misrepresentation of events) as this deceptive approach works.
And it works bigtime.
Going back a few years to the blackouts in New South Wales and South Australia, the Renewable Cult was presented by their media sources with a non stop barrage of headlines claiming “Coal Plants Fail”!
While there was some supporting data showing aging, seldom-used infrastructure tripped offline, the MUCH bigger ‘story’ – as is the case with both the current and February ERCOT issues – is that Wind generation is displacing alternative sources through grossly favored subsidies and operational protocols. (Wind is permitted to contribute output any and every time it chooses. Gas and coal plants have to competitively bid in 24 hours earlier, or on an immediate, spot basis).
If policy makers refuse to put ALL generators on an even playing field, this unpredictability/curtailment stuff will become the New Normal.
This story is amusing. The EV COP Carbon Tour bus has become stranded.
Same here in AB, wind is never DCR (reserve).
Grid has to accept every electron produced and everyone else has to ramp up and down to accommodate
And therein lies the very Heart of the Problem.
Rud Istvan below speaks of Texas wind being least capable in summer months. That, my friends, is true everywhere. But the renewable energy poobahs are hypnotized by meaningless statistics like nameplate capacity, market penetration, average capacity factors, and so forth. What is the minimum capacity factor for wind in the Ercot mix for any 24, 48, 72 hour period? It probably declines to near zero for the shortest time scales, and if that happens to become a reality just when fossil fueled plants think it is safe to do a maintenance turnaround, well….
Summer months bring higher capacities for solar installations due to the length of day (more sunshine, higher angle) in the Northern Hemisphere.
Agreed. Just returned from a walk around the neighborhood and spoke to a guy who just installed a full Tesla Roof (approx $60k)- under a beautiful canopy of live oaks (they bear leaves near year-round). A few houses down another homeowner installed a massive stand-off solar array, also under a magnificent forest of tall live oak trees.
They have more dollars than sense.
I’m looking at a graphical chart of solar power as it tracks with the cooling-hours. Sun is down long before the power usage chart turns downward. Also, September in Texas can bring along a string of 40C temperatures as the globe heads into an equinox. So solar has its place, but like wind it should be classified as a vanity energy source.
I am familiar with summer. I have noticed the height of the sun, and the lengthening days, too. If you bother to research it, the capacity factor for solar plants is not much above 25% even in sunny California. That there are runs of cloudy days, days with snow on the panels, that will also take these solar plants’ capacity factors to zero is a simple fact.
Then you will propose that some storage needs to be added to the wind turbines and solar panels. When you finish with these cycles of redundant systems, storage, transmission lines, what will the world look like?
Here is AB solar provides about 20% nameplate over the year and slightly more than 0% on Jan 1
Let us not forget that thermal generation requires a lot of water, and Texas is not known for having a reliable source of water. Most of the windmills are located out west absent decent lakes. So while Texas sits on an ocean of black gold, it requires water to extract natural gas and water to cool the generation.
As far as the unsightliness and noise of a windmill. Yeah, so is a large power plant sitting on a lake surrounded by expensive lake houses.
I would like to think that Texas should encourage bit-mining with the provision that the mining is tied closer to wind generation rather than how many hours are in the day. That way the unreliable power sources can be used for leveling and Texas can expand its fleet of base power stations.
But ERCOT would never do anything reasonable or intelligent.
We have plenty of water… That’s why we dammed up every river we could. Not suitable for much hydroelectric generation, but great for water resources.
In the worst case the cooling could be done with a finfan — no water.
Bit coin mining as it affects energy production and use is just another silly myth used as a distraction from the real issues. There’s been more electrical energy wasted on discussing bit coin mining on media than consumed in the process itself. Musk is constantly getting better at market manipulation, and rumors about bit-mining is just one way he’s gotten away with it recently.
Wind and PV solar are the cause of the problem, and can’t be used for load balancing.
The “permanent drought” in Texas as of four years ago has been over for about three years. A lot of Texas is just past flood stage from a good amount of Spring and early Summer rain.
Water is not a problem for power generation, simply because you don’t need potable, or even agricultural irrigation quality water to start the process, and mostly you get close to distilled water out of the steam generation plants.
This would be a better picture to use instead of the burning wind turbine. (Texas City BP refinery)
If it were a battery of equal power, it would still be burning.
Scissor, lead acid batteries don’t “burn” (maybe their cases do, but that’s easy to fix)
You either don’t know that lead acid batteries would not be used at that scale or you are being deliberately deceptive on that point.
The later … be fun to see a grid scale lead acid battery 🙂
They go off with a loud and very messy bang, especially when short-circuited either deliberately or accidentally
People property and most everything ‘burn’ when drenched in strong Sulphuric Acid
Mix that with the Lead Oxide that’s also in them and you have THE most hideous chemical cocktail anyone could wish for.
The (now closed) renewable energy group/forum I liked to watch were all great fans of Lead Acid storage (using stacker-truck batteries) but always said never to put one of those batteries within 50 yards of your home.
Even for folks like they were, very conscientious, practised and skilled users.
Lead Acid batteries are really scary things, primarily because of their very low internal resistances. They can and will deliver insane numbers of Amps.
Think of the size of a spanner/wrench that would reach across the terminals of ‘just’ an ordinary car battery.
That ‘little’ battery will melt that spanner within seconds of contact being made and destroy your car and workshop/garage in the process.
You also – you won’t have time to get out the way
Did someone claim that ‘solar’ in ‘AB’ runs at 20%+ of nameplate.
Presuming AB= Alberta?? and solar = Solar PV – I call BS
Put a solar panel at the same (51 degrees) latitude in the UK, do we assume similar weather and you will get 9% of nameplate power out of it – averaged over a full year
Calculate your own here
Pat from kerbob was being a bit generous for 20% capacity factor for solar PV name plate in Alberta. That may true for a few of the newer installs in southern Alberta, but not for the entire province. Probably averages 16%-17% provincially, but definitely much better than cloudier UK. Not nearly as good as Southern California, but much better than Scotland.
The CST (Concentrated Solar Thermal) steam plant with mirrors was mothballed in southern Alberta (Medicine Hat) since it couldn’t operate efficiently for 4-5 months of the year, and that was in the best solar resource in Alberta at about 50 degree north latitude. With the cheap nat gas available they said it destroyed the economics of this project. Why didn’t they just use the NG for those months when the CST didn’t work?
And $12 Million for a 1 MW install that ran at about a 7%-8% annual efficiency since it couldn’t work year round due to a sometime cold cloudy winter week when weather was blowing in a warm Chinook wind. Pure economic insanity to try and build CST north of 50 degree latitude. CST may not even be viable at all as compared to solar PV, which in itself only has has a half chance in the best desert climates with 300+ sunny days a year. And even then, get a big chunk of electricity from 9 Am to 3 Pm, when it is needed at sunset.
The burning turbine represents mocking at the Green crowd. Windmills have utility for only two things: generating modest amounts of electricity, and generating obscene profits for rent-seekers and subsidy farmers.
The fire above represents a refinery that makes more than just energy products. It (while not in flames) generates modest profits, energy, but also chemicals for medicine, fertilizer, cosmetics, plastics, fabrics and thousands of other products.
Even if you put a photo up of a burning tanker truck, the truck represents a massive chemical battery. So I’m not sure what would be a “better picture”.
Wind power is great in Iowa: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Iowa#Wind_generation
Everyone move to Iowa … stat 🙂
See the comment to the cover picture of my ebook Blowing Smoke. You make the same visual fraud assertion, thereby blowing your scant cover.
What you point to is water vapor, which becomes visible at sunrise and sunset (hence the orange hues). CO2 is invisible (except to Greta’s imagination).
The orange hues are from a burning refinery.
BP spent more on safe driving videos than on Process Safety Management.
Now that is probably true. You know they will say that they cut back for ecological reasons as a good green company should 🙂
Safely extracting hydrocarbons, and their safe conversion to fuels and other useful products, involve demanding processes that should not be undertaken by companies that profess to be “beyond petroleum”.
Indeed. Petroleum facilities are a good deal more flammable than wind turbines.
However they work as required as opposed to working when you don’t need the power or not working when you do. Kind of makes that comment stupidity moot.
WTF does flammability have to do with this post?
You do understand what a meme is… Right?
Another Nitpick Nick drive-by post.
“You do understand what a meme is… Right?”
Brought to you by the same folks who whine when a picture of an operating coal plant gets put up. “Bbbbbuttt, it’s just STEAM rising up”!!”
Oil refineries don’t provide power or even fuel to power plants. Except coke, but that is burned in Egypt.
Here is the link to the article (by noted energy correspondent Robert Bryce in Forbes) that talks about the potential excess energy costs of $37.7 BILLION (so what’s a $300 million error between friends?) to be charged to Texas utility consumers – although Bryce notes that with some luck, it could be as low as only between $16 BILLION and $26.3BILLION, based on the analyses of some:
Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on the hijinks going on in Texas! Hopefully the Lonestar State will figure out how to deal with their Unreliable Energy without getting completely Californicated!
I thought this post definitely needed a Ron White meme, but I’ll defer to you greater wisdom! Just keep skewering the idiots who swallow the Climastrology creed without shifting their brains out of Park!
When the story goes full Ron White or Billy Madison, I’ll definitely kick the sarcasm up a few notches… 😎
I used to fly small (less than 20″ Wingspan, a few oz’s weight) RC model planes in my yard in the heart of the Dallas Metroplex. 5 mph of wind is really too much wind for them. So there are only a few days out of the year I could fly them.. When I saw “Ozone action day” on the news, I’d get excited, because I realized that it meant winds were less than 5 mph and I could finally bust out my planes.
The HOA planted trees in my flying field, so I don’t fly next to my house, any more, but this week the local news is all “Ozone Action day!!!”, which means to me “winds less than 5 mph”.
Good for model flying, not good for wind power generation.
“but this week the local news is all “Ozone Action day!!!”, which means to me “winds less than 5 mph”.”
Yes, they are putting out the same ozone warnings in Oklahoma. What this means is that a high pressure system is moving into the area.
We have a high pressure system over the U.S. southwest which is extending into a ridge that is reaching east, where we are. This means diminished winds, which can’t be good for windmill output, but *is* good for flying model airplanes. 🙂
There is no wind in the middle of high pressure systems, whether cold ones in winter (February ) or hot ones in summer.
No wind no wind power regardless of “winterization”.
Texas was flat can for wind in February just like the week before in Alberta, same system heading south.
Thankfully we have only 1.8gw of wind installed, ~7% of grid installed generation so can be safely ignored.
“Texas was flat can for wind in February just like the week before in Alberta, same system heading south.”
Yes, sir! And this system, and the lack of wind it brought with it, affected the windmills in the entire central U.S. during that time.
It won’t be long now before one of the Green New Deal advocates comes out with what everyone knows, but the believers have wanted to keep quiet.
The actual truth about energy availability will be broadcast, and it will be presented as a virtuous reality, needed to “save the planet”
Expect AOC or possibly Kerry to state. “We must transition from previously continuous use of energy, to a managed consumption of only essential power” he or she will advance the idea, “We must all make personal sacrifices to safeguard the planet and safeguard essential services, as we close down traditional but deadly, CO2 producing planet destroying power facilities”
They must be close to that truth now, because you can’t stop people realising without power they can’t survive in hot desert regions, or in cold northern/southern latitudes. .
People have already died, due entirely to the Green New Deal advocates denying energy availability, needed to keep people alive during severe weather events both cold and hot.
The alarmists, will make this now obvious truth a virtue signal. They will claim, “We are doing the right thing for the right reason”. The loss of a few extra thousand people to advance the cause of the Great Reset will be presented as positive news.
When is the scientific community going to speak up, as scientists need to do, to stop this ongoing madness?
I do not think my posts will appear here, or I would give you a real technical answer, since I am a former Senior Engineer for Pacific Gas & Electric.
Will you permit them?
Thank you, WUPWT
I put my PV panels on the back of the house, so nobody can charge me with “virtue signalling”, as they head to church in their finest clothing.
It paid back in three years in gasoline savings alone, with the two electric cars. You will LOVE your EV.
You must drive a lot.
approximately 11,000 MW of generation is on forced outage for repairs; of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal and the rest is intermittent resources.
Clever! The extent due to repairs is given an exact figure. The extent due to thermal is given an exact figure. But the extent due to ‘intermittent resources’ is just ‘the rest’. Just how big is ‘the rest’?
“the rest is intermittent resources”
Love the vagueness there
The Looming Energy Crisis, explains why it’s not only Texas that’s in trouble because of wind and solar, but also the other 2//3 of the country operating under RTO/ISOs. RTO/ISOs use rigged auctions to force wind onto the grid, which forces nuclear, coal and natural gas off the grid. This article is getting right to the heart of the ERCOT proble: Bad management, support of wind and solar, and insufficient baseload capacity.
That is not it. It is bad management, using politicians to run technical operations.
Get your Texas politics out of it.
Texas grid operator urges power conservation as many generators unexpectedly lose power and temperatures rise Wind power runs well in Texas …… When it does run, it’s mostly in the spring and fall. I don’t know whether wind farm will be the best choice, but I know for sure, that carmakers like Volkswagen have been aware of their social responsibilities in recent years.
Some are starting to wonder if suppliers might be taking production offline in order to increase the wholesale power rate. Prices are increased when power supplies get tight in order to “encourage” producers to bring their units back online
Another trillion dollars of windmills will fix it .
Oh , except on windless days .
Well a trillion dollar set of batteries will fix it .
Whos gonna pay for it , you
In the year 2000, the International Energy Agency made a prediction that would come back to haunt it: by 2020, the world would have installed a grand total of 18 gigawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity. Seven years later, the forecast would be proven spectacularly wrong when roughly 18 gigawatts of solar capacity were installed in a single year alone.
Offshore wind power now so cheap it could pay money back to consumersby Imperial College London
Being a former engineer for a large power company and having earned a Master of Science in Energy and the Environment, I had PV panels installed five years ago, with my estimated payback of 15-17 years, . . the right thing for an eco-freak to do. Before they could be installed, we acquired a VW e-Golf electric car. The savings in gasoline alone took the solar system payback down to 3 1/2 years. So, we added a used Tesla Model S, P85, and that took the payback down to less than three years, which means we now get free power for household and transportation.
But that is not all: We do not need to go to gas stations, we fuel up at home at night with cheap baseload power. During the daytime, the PV system turns our meter backwards powering the neighborhood with clean local power, which we trade for the stuff to be used that night. If we paid for transportation fuel, the VW would cost us 4 cents/mile to drive, and the Tesla would cost 5 cents/mile at California off-peak power prices.
No oil changes are a real treat along with no leaks. And since it has an electric motor, it needs NO ENGINE MAINTENANCE at all. We do not go “gas up”, or get tune-ups or emissions checks, have no transmission about which to worry, no complicated machined parts needing care.
Do you park that Tesla in your garage?
Is a used Tesla more of a fire hazard than a new one?
“The latest round of offshore wind farms to be built in the UK could reduce household energy bills by producing electricity very cheaply.
Renewable energy projects, including onshore and offshore wind and solar farms, have so far been subsidized by government support schemes. This has led to some to complain that clean energy is pushing up bills.
However, the most recently approved offshore wind projects will most likely operate with ‘negative subsidies’ – paying money back to the government. The money will go towards reducing household energy bills as the offshore wind farms start producing power in the mid-2020s”.
The main thing that they always miss is that the market was designed to ignore risk specifically so that they can incorporate wind and solar without raising costs. This dis-incentivizes maintaining adequate flexible reliable capacity for gas.