Skip to comments.Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency
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 ...
Some of the energy should be strored as mechanical energy (perhaps pumping water uphill?) to be used for times like this.
Someone tell the eco-nuts about this story yet? And yet they don’t want anything like, say, nuclear power.
Thanks for the picture - that’s a beautiful sight to see!
Wow...with all the windbags down there? Unbelievable!!! (ROTFLMAO)
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).
No kiddin’ The governor could power half the state if he opened his pie-hole toward one of those generators.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a related note, bean supplies are at historic highs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.