Skip to comments.Polar Vortex Highlights Natural Gas-fired Generation Vulnerabilities
Posted on 03/05/2014 3:39:13 PM PST by dickmc
For many people in the U.S., me included, this winter has been miserable. The polar vortex, which I'm fairly certain was a term only meteorologists had heard before this winter, has wreaked havoc in much of the country. ... This type of weather affects few, if any, industries more than electricity providers.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which is responsible for balancing the state's electricity supply and demand, reported an all-time high winter peak demand Jan. 7 and was required to issue an alert the day before when some 13,000 MW of generation--3,700 MW of forced outages caused by weather--were unavailable from midnight to 8 a.m. ERCOT brought all available electric generation online and deployed all demand response programs that it had contracted. Even with these measures, available generation capacity did not meet demand ...
Other independent system operators such as PJM and MISO experienced problems, too--some because coal plants that were heavily used have been retired. (Their owners can't afford to meet environmental regulations.)...
This brief summary is well worth reading. It appears the grid was in more trouble than commoonly known. There detailed article is here.
A much longer article covering the same thing in the same Magazine with respect to natural gas is is here.
Both are worth reading.
(Excerpt) Read more at elp.com ...
run, RUN, EVERYBODY RUN!!! MANBEARPIG IS COMING AND THE ONLY WAY TO STOP HIM IS TO ELECT MORE DEMOCRATS!!!!
Global warming is making the Polar Vortex bigger and colder, right?
I’m more concerned with the BS Vortex in DC right now.
The article is about how america is stupid trying to replace coal with natural gas.
Wind/solar are not the unicorn milk the progressives would like you to believe.
Do you like electricity? Tell your representative to shut down the EPA and leave it the states to regulate.
FWIW Brian Wilkes a local tv weather guy here in Indy has used the term on air for at least 20 years. During the 1994 cold snap for sure.
Polar vortex. Old Indian word for winter.
Do I need a /sarc tag?
I read the article. It’s not because NG is inherently poor, it’s because the supply chains are incomplete. Properly done, the Natural Gas alternative can still work, but it would involve more and better infrastructure, which, as Keystone shows, the current crop in the Administration is loathe to allow.
It’s time to start following the coal money heading into Obastard’s pockets. There’s a payoff going on here.
I do know that "commoonly" is "commonly" and that "is is" is redundant (unlike the former President Clinton). None the less the article is worth reading!! However, that is no excuse for mistakenly pushing 'Post' too soon. None the less, the mistakes take away from the interest of the article.
I apologize for the grammatical errors due to a premature button push!
I always preferred “Blizzard.” It wasn’t always a tasty Dairy Queen treat.
I hope you didn’t get any on you. I understand the cleaners will never get that out.
Most of these power plants are seldom used peaking units and, therefore, do not have firm natural gas supply contracts. They instead rely on interruptible gas supplies. Natural gas suppliers met their firm customers’ demand, but with heating demands for gas soaring, they could not meet demands of their interruptible supply agreements.
- - - - -
So the power plants used the cheapest gas rate available, interruptible, which means they have the lowest priority for supply.
If Gas Companies have more contracts for non-interruptible, the price difference is used to expand facilities to meet the demand. But the power companies, in order to get the cheapest rate, agreed to be cut off if needed.
PJM is the Pennsylvania-Jersey-Maryland grid which is very well managed and at least in Pennsylvania has a fair amount of coal generation. You can read more about their operation at http://www.pjm.com/Default.aspx
I like the Oreo/Snickers ones, but I’d prefer to wait until July. They’re life-savers here, we do Globull Warming every year. It’s a tourist attraction.
Ah! It’s like in the mountains. I can get there if I’m willing to drive four hours. I’m not.
It’s 80 here now, going down to 52 (Brrrr!) tonight.
(I paid my dues. I’m from MI, and moved out when I was 20)
Lord save us! It’s Cthulhu!!!
I grew up in Flint,,,but it took me until I was twenty three to leave...
Flint? Oh geez....
Glad you came out West, young Mikey.
The interuptibles they speak of are electricity users.
The gas transmission companies can and do limit gas fired generation when it gets too cold.
I could have put 580mw to the grid during the last cold snap, but couldn’t due to lack of gas. (Both high price and availability)
Even during a declared emergency by a grid operator, requesting all available generation, we couldn’t run/generate.
This winter of all winters proved the wisdom of escaping “ The Little Motor CIty”
The relative value of the EPA has gone to zero when it became corrupted into a political machine for the benefit of the democRATS.
I was on the opposite side of it a time ago.
We were doing a Natural Gas Storage facility with Electric Drive Compressors. We got a dirt cheap rate on electricity based upon interruptible power.
The facility needed to store so much in a month, typically known in advance by contracts.
If we got shut down for a half a day, no big deal.
I'm not sure it makes sense to do the same with generated power that will be needed right now.
Pennsylvania = blue state, blue governor
Jersey = blue state, repubbie (greenie) governer who the demo's want to look good
Maryland = blue state, gov’ment workers, blue unions
Texas ??? red state, red gov, Bush state, red voters, no unions
Were you there for ‘78? A laff-riot.
PJM is several companies in the northeast.
EPA has forced retirement of older coal fired generators.
Gas turbines have traditionally been peaking units.
Summer extended use of them has become economical for obvious reasons.
Nope I left in 1971 and have only returned there once since then back in 1989.
A lot of this is T. Boone Picken’s fault, for pushing a combination of wind (from which he profited) and natural gas as its backup (from which he profited).
I used to consider my college degree:
B.S. bull s***
M.S. more s***
Ph.D. pile higher and deeper (Never did get this one.)
I BET he is even richer than the King of Saudi Arabia.
Pickens wouldn't really EVER say how much he's worth, which makes him even scarier. Yikes.
It's sole function, and a highly regulated one at that, is to balance supply of power with demand and do so at the lowest possible price. It buys power from regulated utilities, independent power producers and even industrial generators when necessary. It really has little dependence on 'trendy, subsidy sucking' sources since it is located in an area of the country where there is virtually no solar and very little in the way of wind power.
Take coal plants out of the equation, and PJM has a major problem in delivering enough kWh when there are harsh weather conditions such as we had this year.
I'm retired now after 40+ years in the electric generation industry, and I fear what will happen to this country if the Democrats win this war on coal. We will be in a world of hurt if they do.
True. I thought Wilkes brought the term with him from Chicago.
let me see: energy grid companies + risk & cost of possible unusual circumstantes = ???
= normal planning requirements of energy grid companies
yes - the cold did go further south and more often did so, than usual, but its not like it NEVER has, and its not like no one knew that “weather is NOT predictable”, and so, in order to be sure, energy grid providers HAVE to plan on the unexpected
I’ve have a PhD
“Post Hole Digger”
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