Skip to comments.San Juan battle lines drawn (Reliable coal power vs. renewables in NM)
Posted on 07/21/2014 12:33:06 PM PDT by CedarDave
The battle over where New Mexicos electricity will come from after Public Service Company of New Mexico shuts down half of the coal-fired units at San Juan Generating Station near Farmington is growing.
Environmentalists and renewable energy advocates adamantly oppose a PNM proposal to increase its share of coal-generated electricity from San Juan by 132 megawatts after some of the plants other co-owners abandon it.
They fear PNM is committing New Mexico consumers to another two decades of coal-fired electricity despite rising costs from federal environmental regulations, while squandering an opportunity to double down on renewable energy for the future.
PNM maintains its plan is the most cost-effective approach to meet federal mandates to reduce nitrogen oxide and other emissions at San Juan while still maintaining the electric systems reliability and affordability for New Mexico ratepayers.
The issue is expected to come to a head this fall, when the state Public Regulation Commission holds hearings about San Juan.
To make up for lost generation and meet growing electric demand in coming years, PNM wants to acquire another 134 MW of electricity from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona, add a new 177 MW natural gas-fired plant near Farmington, and build 40 MW more of utility-scale solar generation.
Based on extensive computer modeling in the past year, PNM says that would allow it to maintain system reliability at the lowest cost after the two-unit shutdown.
Our modeling shows its a good plan, OConnell said. It reduces coal while increasing nuclear, gas and solar. That gives us a more balanced mix of resources to maintain system reliability, and its the least expensive plan compared to other options.
(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...
BTW, take a look at the ACTUAL impact of renewables on world energy supplies (one comment was "why did you post a blank chart?" LOL!).
Oh oh. Those wacky computer models again. When will they ever learn.
Those who have no problems with coal powered generation can be billed the cost of electricity at a rate that is based upon the cost of using coal.
Those who hate coal and want no part of it can be billed the cost of electricity at a rate that is based upon the cost of using something other than coal (specifically “renewables” such solar.
PNM could actually do that. Of course the environmental wackos would fight that every step of the way.
That would be really funny — especially if they tacked on a “renewable energy” fee.
“Renewable energy” is one of those fond hopes on a par with perpetual motion, or a Ponzi scheme applied to energy. It takes MORE energy from other sources, to assure there is an adequate and reliable supply, than shall ever be realized from the actual production from green sources alone. Unreliable, subject to steep set-up costs, and of uncertain service life, “renewable energy” is a phantom, never rising to the potential claimed for it.
Thorium-powered molten salt nuclear reactors, on the other hand, have the capability of fully replacing coal-fired plants, and also be able to provide a steady supply of base-line power, without having to cut in and cut out power flow from the “renewable” sources.
We know what the technological theory is, and we have the industrial capability to set these units up and running, in short order, should the permission be granted to go forward.
We had better be getting our ducks in a row. China is even now going forward with designs for just such a thorium-powered molten-salt reactor, and expects to have the first units online in about ten years.
The “renewable energy” programs should be phased out as quickly as they can be fully replaced with natural gas-fired turbine generation stations, which have the great advantage of being able to be spooled up in literally moments when heavy power demand peaks come, and just as quickly, be cut out of the grid when not needed.
(Yeah, I know: 'Google it', but I'd bet that almost every result that turns up will be pro-envirowacko propaganda extolling the virtues of 'green' energy. I'd be interested if anyone 'in the know' would have a better take on the topic.)
Sure. I've done wind and solar for remote oil/gas industry installations. We sure didn't get any government subsidy for them.
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You're referring to a limited self-contained application (such as residential house-top solar panels), correct? In that context, wind/solar makes sense.
I'd be more interested to learn if there are any commercial power wind/solar installations that can operate profitably without subsidy - I'm extremely skeptical that any of those could operate profitably without government propping them up. The only place in the US where it might make some sense is Hawaii, considering the steady trade winds and high cost of importing conventional fuels.
I found this...does it help?
Preliminary results indicate that about 26 TWh of wind-generated electricity can be profitably developed per annum by the year 2010 and 34 TWh per annum by the year 2030 in the 36 specific sites.
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