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Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency
Reuters ^ | 2/28/08 | Mikey_1962

Posted on 02/28/2008 4:59:09 AM PST by Mikey_1962

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A drop in wind generation late on Tuesday, coupled with colder weather, triggered an electric emergency that caused the Texas grid operator to cut service to some large customers, the grid agency said on Wednesday.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said a decline in wind energy production in west Texas occurred at the same time evening electric demand was building as colder temperatures moved into the state.

The grid operator went directly to the second stage of an emergency plan at 6:41 PM CST (0041 GMT), ERCOT said in a statement.

System operators curtailed power to interruptible customers to shave 1,100 megawatts of demand within 10 minutes, ERCOT said. Interruptible customers are generally large industrial customers who are paid to reduce power use when emergencies occur.

No other customers lost power during the emergency, ERCOT said. Interruptible customers were restored in about 90 minutes and the emergency was over in three hours.

(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: energy; wind; windmills; windpower
Bad ppublicity for the Wind industry.

Some of the energy should be strored as mechanical energy (perhaps pumping water uphill?) to be used for times like this.

1 posted on 02/28/2008 4:59:13 AM PST by Mikey_1962
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To: Mikey_1962

Someone tell the eco-nuts about this story yet? And yet they don’t want anything like, say, nuclear power.


2 posted on 02/28/2008 5:01:49 AM PST by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: Mikey_1962
Uphill? In West Texas?


3 posted on 02/28/2008 5:02:08 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Thanks for the picture - that’s a beautiful sight to see!


4 posted on 02/28/2008 5:04:19 AM PST by Ken522
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To: Mikey_1962
Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency

Wow...with all the windbags down there? Unbelievable!!! (ROTFLMAO)

5 posted on 02/28/2008 5:05:47 AM PST by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: Mikey_1962
Bad publicity for the Wind industry.

Perhaps, but what did they expect? You can regulate output on fossil and nuclear plants, as well as hydro plants, but wind doesn't allow for a lot of regulation. If it isn't blowing, you can't generate. You can't store wind either, though pumped hydro is an option (as you mention).

6 posted on 02/28/2008 5:08:25 AM PST by meyer (Still conservative, no longer Republican)
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To: Vaquero

No kiddin’ The governor could power half the state if he opened his pie-hole toward one of those generators.


7 posted on 02/28/2008 5:09:25 AM PST by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: thackney
Yeah, uphill, into a storage tank then to be drawn on to turn a turbine when wind drops.
8 posted on 02/28/2008 5:18:10 AM PST by Mikey_1962 (Liberals want equality of outcome not opportunity.)
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To: Mikey_1962
into a storage tank then

You need to do the math of the size of such a tank. You need a significant hill and a large lake, not a tank.

9 posted on 02/28/2008 5:22:15 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Just an idea. But the kinetic energy caused by falling water is substanial; although there are many many many ways to store energy that can be drawn on at a later time.


10 posted on 02/28/2008 5:28:50 AM PST by Mikey_1962 (Liberals want equality of outcome not opportunity.)
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To: Mikey_1962

You need some inexpensive backup generators that use fossil fuels if you are going to have wind generation.

Or a regional grid large enough that you can virtually assure wind power from somewhere will be operating at capacity.

Heck, if you knew the wind was going to blow all the time, wind generation would already be feasible, just like hydroelectric power. The reason wind costs so much is that you have to overbuild capacity and provide backups.


11 posted on 02/28/2008 5:30:01 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Mikey_1962

On the other hand, half of florida went black for a while a couple of nights ago because of an incident at a nuclear facility.

Pretty much any generating plant CAN experience failure of some sort which requires rebalancing the grid or having blackouts.


12 posted on 02/28/2008 5:31:32 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Mikey_1962

In a related note, bean supplies are at historic highs.


13 posted on 02/28/2008 5:33:12 AM PST by Malsua
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To: CharlesWayneCT
On the other hand, half of florida went black for a while a couple of nights ago because of an incident at a nuclear facility.

Actually, despite the AP's best spin, Florida had a major blackout due to an incident at a substation that triggered the shutdown of two nuclear generating units at Turkey Point as well as a total of 9 fossil-powered generating units and more than 20 transmission lines. The result was the loss of about 3800 megawatts of customer load through either the loss of supply or through automatic load-shedding devices (had these automatic load shedding devices not been present, the blackout would have cascaded and spread much further).

The Nuclear plant shutdown was not the cause of the blackout, nor would it be as long as utilities in that state are/were following NERC-mandated contingency-based policy.

14 posted on 02/28/2008 5:41:41 AM PST by meyer (Still conservative, no longer Republican)
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To: meyer

Sorry, I had caught that last night, and my shorthand was misleading here. Still shows that a variety of errors can knock out power.

But you raise an important point — utilities know that a nuclear plant can go offline in a matter of minutes, and are supposed to plan for that. Same should be true for wind generation.


15 posted on 02/28/2008 5:46:49 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT
But you raise an important point — utilities know that a nuclear plant can go offline in a matter of minutes, and are supposed to plan for that. Same should be true for wind generation.

Very true - utilities know that any plant or major transmission line can go offline in a matter of minutes (milliseconds really), and thus plan and operate their little piece of the system such that it can survive and continue operating in the event of the worst-case single contingency.

That is, of course, true of wind power, and that is likely why ERCOT ordered utilities to cut service to their interruptible loads (interruptible loads are basically customers that trade a lower power price for the susceptibility of being the first to have their supply terminated in these situations). By cutting service to these interruptible customers, the utilities in the ERCOT region were able to continue to operate within the constraints of being able to withstand the loss of their greatest electrical asset without concern that it would turn into a cascading outage.

16 posted on 02/28/2008 6:04:34 AM PST by meyer (Still conservative, no longer Republican)
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To: thackney
Uphill? In West Texas?

It's a REALLY slow slope.
17 posted on 02/28/2008 6:08:22 AM PST by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: Mikey_1962

Considering both the economics and thermodynamics, wind energy is a bad alternative. The cost per kilowatt of electricity from a wind generator is almost 4 times that of a nuclear plant and any schemes to “save” wind energy by “storing” it in the form of air pressure, falling water etc. are hopelessly inefficient due to thermodynamic losses. Like corn ethanol, wind energy is a feel good boondoggle that does little or nothing to provide for our long term energy needs.


18 posted on 02/28/2008 6:09:32 AM PST by The Great RJ ("Mir we bleiwen wat mir sin" or "We want to remain what we are." ..Luxembourg motto)
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To: OCCASparky

Texas has nuclear power plants. In fact Texas has more than enough power production. The problem is the idiots insist on a certain percentage of the electricity entering the grid to be green energy. There are several power plants that are hydro and oil based that sit in very low usage and even Comanche Peek only pumps out 20-30% of it capability.


19 posted on 02/28/2008 6:11:11 AM PST by neb52 (Quid agis, Medice?)
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To: thackney

That is surprising that West Texas would be without wind. My Mother was raised in Odessa and still plants the horrible sage brush and other crappy West Texas plants in her garden. Every time I have been out there it was like being in a wind tunnel. Of course I think the panhandle is worse in that regard.


20 posted on 02/28/2008 6:14:47 AM PST by neb52 (Quid agis, Medice?)
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To: thackney

And you need reliable monitoring of the uphill lake, as we observed in the Taum Sauk reservoir disaster.


21 posted on 02/28/2008 6:16:17 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: thackney

I’ve walked many such rows with hoe in hand. That was a lifetime ago, though. :)


22 posted on 02/28/2008 6:17:54 AM PST by The Duke (I have met the enemy, and he is named 'Apathy'!)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

I DON’T BELIEVE THERE WAS ANY ACCIDENT AT A NUCLEAR FACILITY!


23 posted on 02/28/2008 6:29:33 AM PST by aumrl (CHECK YOUR FACTS)
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To: Mikey_1962
Pump storage is used is some place. It is one of the most economical energy storage methods of significant power (small city sized power).

However, that much power usually looks something like the examples below.

Okinawa Seawater Pumped Storage Power Plant

Tianhuangping pumped storage hydroelectric project

Mt. Elbert Pumped Storage Powerplant

Seneca Pumped Storage Generating Station

24 posted on 02/28/2008 6:57:29 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: aumrl

You are right, it was a substation problem that led to the shutdown of the facility.


25 posted on 02/28/2008 7:11:07 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: neb52
even Comanche Peek only pumps out 20-30% of it capability.

Uh, no. Nuke plants are considered "baseline" load so they're running 100 percent between refueling outages. (Trust me, I work in a nuke plant.) Wind and other "alternative" sources are in addition and do not form the backbone of supply.

Nuke plants aren't even profitable unless they're runnig at least 80-85% power.

Try looking at the CAL-ISO website and see how availability changes, not just demand.
26 posted on 02/28/2008 9:31:34 AM PST by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
On the other hand, half of florida went black for a while a couple of nights ago because of an incident at a nuclear facility.

Been listening to the MSM again, eh? The AP THINKS it was Turkey Point, but the evidence (thus far) is pointing to a substation fault (namely, a reactor created a 3-phase fault) which caused a transformer (a big one) to blow, and the resulting grid surge is what caused not only the two nuke plants, but the three conventional ones at Turkey Point to trip.

IOW, the AP is talking out their ass. The root cause team likely hasn't even been formed yet. They're probably still gathering data from the ISO and various stations and the cause won't likely be pinned down for several WEEKS, at least.
27 posted on 02/28/2008 9:35:59 AM PST by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: neb52
There are several power plants that are hydro and oil based that sit in very low usage and even Comanche Peek only pumps out 20-30% of it capability.

That's absolutely correct. There are many natural gas plants TXU runs only a few days of the year, at peak demand.

Nuclear power is where our future lies, and why we're not turning them out left and right, I'll never understand.
28 posted on 02/28/2008 9:44:32 AM PST by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: Mikey_1962

My fear is the “Global Slowing” caused by these wind farms.

Think about it, a fast wind is needed to turn the blades and then you have slow wind exiting the blades.

If we slow the wind down to make electricity then the Earth will stop rotating fast enough to keep spinning in orbit!

We are Doomed! DOOMED!

</ sarcasm off>


29 posted on 02/28/2008 9:44:49 AM PST by BigSkyDream
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To: Mikey_1962
Siting a pumped storage facility can be a real challenge since they are large and flood a considerable area. You'd have intervenors out the wazoo lining up to oppose such things in anywhere other than the most desolate of places, and maybe even those, too.

Not a lot of people know it, but the genesis of the modern so-called "environmentalist movement" can be traced to opposition to a power facility known as Storm King Mountain, in the Hudson River Valley. The "environmentalists" were not the greasy, dirty, pony-tailed hippie types you see today, but actually very wealthy landowners who had land with picturesque views of the Hudson Valley north of NYC. They opposed Storm Kind Mountain on the basis of "visual pollution", that is, transmission lines that would be strung across the valley from the generators to substations for downstate transmission, which would "ruin the view". Now, Storm King Mountain was not to be a coal-fired facility or a nuclear plant, but, tah dah, a pumped storage reservoir.

It is ironic because if you ask anyone today in New York state what Storm King Mountain was, almost all of them, including high-ranking political figures, will say it was a nuclear plant. Little do they realize that the opposition was mounted against that darling of "renewable" energy storage, a pumped storage reservoir. Then again, idiots abound in political circles and the general electorate, and the premise of democracy today seems to be that two idiots are smarter than one genius.

30 posted on 02/28/2008 9:46:24 AM PST by chimera
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To: neb52
Comanche Peek only pumps out 20-30% of it capability.

The capacity factor (percentage of generation compared to capability) from 2004 to 2006 is as follows:

Comanche Peak, Unit 2 - 95.41% Comanche Peak, Unit 1 - 94.33% U.S. capacity factors: A small gain to an already large number
http://www.ans.org/pubs/magazines/nn/docs/2007-5-3.pdf
TABLE I, 2004–2006 DER NET CAPACITY FACTORS OF INDIVIDUAL REACTORS

31 posted on 02/28/2008 10:01:49 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: neb52
Comanche Peek only pumps out 20-30% of it capability.

The capacity factor (percentage of generation compared to capability) from 2004 to 2006 is as follows:

Comanche Peak, Unit 2 - 95.41%
Comanche Peak, Unit 1 - 94.33%

U.S. capacity factors: A small gain to an already large number
http://www.ans.org/pubs/magazines/nn/docs/2007-5-3.pdf
TABLE I, 2004–2006 DER NET CAPACITY FACTORS OF INDIVIDUAL REACTORS

32 posted on 02/28/2008 10:02:09 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney; OCCASparky

Thanks evidently I was wrong. I can always count on you guys to correct me these type of things.


33 posted on 02/28/2008 9:44:57 PM PST by neb52 (Quid agis, Medice?)
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