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Polar Vortex Highlights Natural Gas-fired Generation Vulnerabilities
Electric Light and Power ^ | 02/25/2014 | Teresa Hansen

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; Science; Weather
KEYWORDS: electricgrid; powerreliability; weather

1 posted on 03/05/2014 3:39:13 PM PST by dickmc
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To: thackney

Ping.


2 posted on 03/05/2014 3:40:34 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: dickmc

Polar Vortex!?

run, RUN, EVERYBODY RUN!!! MANBEARPIG IS COMING AND THE ONLY WAY TO STOP HIM IS TO ELECT MORE DEMOCRATS!!!!


3 posted on 03/05/2014 3:44:09 PM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: dickmc

Global warming is making the Polar Vortex bigger and colder, right?


4 posted on 03/05/2014 3:44:11 PM PST by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: dickmc

I’m more concerned with the BS Vortex in DC right now.


5 posted on 03/05/2014 3:49:17 PM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: dickmc

The article is about how america is stupid trying to replace coal with natural gas.

I agree.

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.


6 posted on 03/05/2014 3:49:23 PM PST by hadaclueonce (Because Brawndo's got electrolytes. Because Ethanol has Big Corn Lobby)
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To: dickmc
I'm fairly certain was a term only meteorologists had heard before this winter

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.

7 posted on 03/05/2014 3:51:24 PM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: dickmc
i remember when it was called the Canadian Clipper, and the Siberian Express before that and simply COLD AIR MASS before that... polar vortex my achin azz, feh
8 posted on 03/05/2014 3:52:08 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: dickmc

Polar vortex. Old Indian word for winter.


9 posted on 03/05/2014 3:52:47 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (Obama lied; our healthcare died.)
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To: Steely Tom
Geez folks! You gotta relax. We have windmills and solar to bail out those evil fossil fuel burners. Polar bears are cheering and the planet is getting over her fever. So relax, kick back and send a fat check to our Dear Leader to thank him for his foresight.

Do I need a /sarc tag?

10 posted on 03/05/2014 3:54:35 PM PST by Wingy
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To: hadaclueonce

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.


11 posted on 03/05/2014 3:55:33 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Steely Tom
I wish we had an edit after posting!!!!

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!

12 posted on 03/05/2014 3:56:14 PM PST by dickmc
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To: Chode

I always preferred “Blizzard.” It wasn’t always a tasty Dairy Queen treat.


13 posted on 03/05/2014 3:56:30 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: dickmc

I hope you didn’t get any on you. I understand the cleaners will never get that out.


14 posted on 03/05/2014 3:57:46 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: dickmc
Polar Vortex like global warming is just more made up b/s.
15 posted on 03/05/2014 3:58:55 PM PST by KSCITYBOY
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To: dickmc
MISO operates transmission lines. ERCOT depends heavily on wind but the "irregularity of wind, however, presents operational challenges for the ERCOT grid." PJM is a power company, apparently with too big a dependence on trendy, subsidy-sucking renewables. Thus the need for peak demand gas.
16 posted on 03/05/2014 4:00:26 PM PST by Paine in the Neck (Socialism consumes EVERYTHING)
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To: Army Air Corps; dickmc

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.


17 posted on 03/05/2014 4:05:23 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Paine in the Neck

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


18 posted on 03/05/2014 4:11:34 PM PST by dickmc
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To: Cyber Liberty
i'll take the DQ version, i'm tired of all the globull warming this winter
19 posted on 03/05/2014 4:12:59 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

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.


20 posted on 03/05/2014 4:16:49 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Cyber Liberty
it's 12deg here right now... it'll be about -5 when i get up tomorrow morning
21 posted on 03/05/2014 4:26:59 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

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.


22 posted on 03/05/2014 4:31:17 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Chode

(I paid my dues. I’m from MI, and moved out when I was 20)


23 posted on 03/05/2014 4:32:41 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Cyber Liberty
i hear ya, and i'm not really bitching, it's just been a loooong winter this year since it pretty much started at the end of October...
24 posted on 03/05/2014 4:39:35 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: dickmc

25 posted on 03/05/2014 4:40:56 PM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

Lord save us! It’s Cthulhu!!!


26 posted on 03/05/2014 4:43:56 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Cyber Liberty

I grew up in Flint,,,but it took me until I was twenty three to leave...


27 posted on 03/05/2014 4:45:11 PM PST by MeshugeMikey (Jesus came to Save not Entertain / Ground John Kerry Now!)
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To: MeshugeMikey

Flint? Oh geez....

Glad you came out West, young Mikey.


28 posted on 03/05/2014 4:46:46 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: thackney

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.
NO gas


29 posted on 03/05/2014 4:51:16 PM PST by BigpapaBo (If it don't kill you it'll make you _________!)
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To: Cyber Liberty

This winter of all winters proved the wisdom of escaping “ The Little Motor CIty”


30 posted on 03/05/2014 4:52:36 PM PST by MeshugeMikey (Jesus came to Save not Entertain / Ground John Kerry Now!)
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To: hadaclueonce

The relative value of the EPA has gone to zero when it became corrupted into a political machine for the benefit of the democRATS.


31 posted on 03/05/2014 4:53:07 PM PST by Ouderkirk (To the left, everything must evidence that this or that strand of leftist theory is true)
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To: BigpapaBo
Because of the contracts they signed.

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.

32 posted on 03/05/2014 4:58:01 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: neverdem; SunkenCiv; Nachum; dickmc
PJM is the Pennsylvania-Jersey-Maryland grid which is very well managed and at least in Pennsylvania has a fair amount of coal generation.

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

33 posted on 03/05/2014 4:58:05 PM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: MeshugeMikey

Were you there for ‘78? A laff-riot.


34 posted on 03/05/2014 4:58:41 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Paine in the Neck

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.


35 posted on 03/05/2014 5:05:54 PM PST by aumrl (let's keep it real Conservatives)
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To: Cyber Liberty

Nope I left in 1971 and have only returned there once since then back in 1989.


36 posted on 03/05/2014 5:08:31 PM PST by MeshugeMikey (Jesus came to Save not Entertain / Ground John Kerry Now!)
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To: Paine in the Neck

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).


37 posted on 03/05/2014 5:37:16 PM PST by tbw2
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To: Huskrrrr
I’m more concerned with the BS Vortex in DC right now.

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.)

38 posted on 03/05/2014 5:45:34 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: tbw2
Since he is the richest man on the planet, he can do anything he wants.

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.

39 posted on 03/05/2014 5:47:19 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: Paine in the Neck
PJM is a power company, apparently with too big a dependence on trendy, subsidy-sucking renewables.

PJM is not a 'power company.' It is a grid operator for all of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Ohio with parts of 8 other states thrown in.

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.

40 posted on 03/05/2014 6:32:14 PM PST by Ditto
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To: nascarnation

True. I thought Wilkes brought the term with him from Chicago.


41 posted on 03/05/2014 7:14:45 PM PST by henkster (Communists never negotiate.)
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To: dickmc

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


42 posted on 03/05/2014 8:26:03 PM PST by Wuli
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To: Ditto
+1 on what you said.
The idiots are forcing old coal burners offline around here too. With no real plans to replace them. That, and we just permanently shut down a base load nuke (Kewanee).
Gee wunderkind why we have these events. Just wait until the economic slump turns around. Rates will skyrocket, and businesses will choose to move to the cheap energy.
43 posted on 03/06/2014 4:52:08 AM PST by BigpapaBo (If it don't kill you it'll make you _________!)
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To: cloudmountain

I’ve have a PhD

“Post Hole Digger”


44 posted on 03/06/2014 5:57:56 AM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: Huskrrrr
“Post Hole Digger”

Good one.

45 posted on 03/06/2014 6:09:28 AM PST by cloudmountain
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