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Pilgrim Nuclear Plant (Carbon Free Power) to Close 2019

Discussion in 'New England' started by cfava, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. cfava

    cfava Member

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    Pilgrim Nuclear power plant is the largest carbon free energy source in MA (680MW), it produces about 15% of electricity in MA.

    Annual production is running ~ 5,119 GWh
    Capacity Utilization Factor: 85%

    How do we replace this power loss without electric rates spiking to 0.35 to 0.50 KWh hurting the electric car movement.

    Carbon free replacement:
    I estimate to replace this plant with solar would require around ~3.5 GWh of new solar panel capacity[CUF of 17%].
    Furthermore, massive battery storage would be required for this project.


    That's a lot of solar panels and batteries...
    Any thoughts???
     
  2. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Why is it closing?
     
  3. skboston

    skboston Member

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    I read that's pressure from the Feds...

    As appliances and electronics are becoming more and more energy efficient, new solar panels being installed at various places across the state, there might not be a need to fire up extra coal plants.
     
  4. cfava

    cfava Member

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    Here is an article in the Boston Globe:

    Pilgrim nuclear power plant to close in Plymouth - The Boston Globe

    Its hard for older nuclear plants to compete with natural gas.
    Theoretically, the site can support two more reactors. I wished they build Pilgrim 2 & 3, it would solve our energy shortage in MA.

    I believe we are to dependent on natural gas for power, we are putting are eggs in one basket in MA. Furthermore, it does not solve the carbon problem.


    Furthermore, Brayton Point (coal plant) is closing in 2017

    • Unit 1: 243 megawatts
    • Unit 2: 240 megawatts
    • Unit 3: 612 megawatts
    • Unit 4: 435 megawatts

    We are going to have a major electric shortage!!!!

    To replace both Pilgrim and Brayton with Solar will need:
    Giga solar
    Giga battery
    Just Giga....

    By the way, I do own a 12.2 kWh SunPower solar system on my house.
     
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Further showing up the blindness of legislators who failed to do anything about exoanding the natural gas infrastructure interconnections.
     
  6. skboston

    skboston Member

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    I think closing Nuclear and Coal is generally good, both can have tremendous impact on the environment although there has to be some sort or balancing with other sources. I'm not a fan of Natural gas either, considering how it's extracted from fracking and pollutes everything in it's way.
     
  7. cfava

    cfava Member

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    Communities are not pulling its own weight on energy production

    As a resident of Plymouth, I feel that many communities have gotten a free ride on energy production. NIMBY attitudes in MA toward energy production runs deep.
    Many communities still have yet to produce a single solar field/wind turbine because of lack of net-metering or NIMBY attitude. Yet the town of Plymouth has more solar/wind projects on its books and the nuclear power plant.
    I feel this is unfair other communities are not pulling there own weight!!!

    I live 5 miles from the power plant, I would rather have nuclear over any fossil fuel plant any day. I still do not how MA is going to make-up the lost power. As a Tesla owner, I like carbon free energy better than any fossil fuel charging my car. If a solution is not found, we will have brownouts in MA.
     
  8. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    My conclusion is that the closure will not result in any electricity shortages but instead cause yet more natural gas generation to be built, worsening New England's carbon footprint.

    Firstly, there's absolutely no requirement for MA to have enough generation to meet its electricity needs. MA is part of the control area operated by ISO New England, which has the job of operating the entire New England grid. The New England grid is also strongly interconnected to Québec and New York, plus a line over to New Brunswick; these interconnections allow New England to tap thousands of MW of capacity located outside the six-state region.

    ISO-NE has many roles, two of which are most relevant in this discussion:
    * Transmission planning
    * Operation of capacity markets

    As the transmission planner, ISO-NE works with the utilities and state regulators to ensure that the high-voltage transmission system can move available power where it's expected to be needed on the grid. In its 2014 system plan, ISO stated that it was "tracking an EPA rulemaking updating radiation standards for commercial nuclear power plants ... and assess its potential impact on the remaining nuclear generators in New England." So undoubtedly planners had already played through a Pilgrim shut-down scenario and will move to get upgrades in place to respond to Pilgrim's announced closure before the plant goes off-line.

    ISO-NE's capacity market operates three years forward to secure commitments to meet future needs for generation capacity in the region. Even with the Brayton retirement, the auction for the 2018–2019 capacity year started with 1,907 MW of excess supply offers, and there's more in the interconnection queue for 2019 (when Pilgrim is expected to go off-line), so it appears that there is more than enough capacity waiting in the wings to fill Pilgrim's shoes.

    Of the 37,533 MW that took on capacity obligations for 2018–19, 2,092 MW are from planned generation—nearly all of which uses natural gas (2,075 MW) vs. solar (16 MW). (Note that the 16 MW of solar is its capacity value, which is something like 1/4 of the nameplate. A critical feature of the auction that I developed was the ability of solar farms, which generate more in the summer than winter, to partner with fossil-fueled plants, which have higher capacity in the winter owing to lower ambient temperatures, to offer in a composite bid to cover the full year. Otherwise solar's capacity value would be limited by its worst month.) Looking carefully at the interconnection queue in New England, what's slated to come on line in the second half of 2018 onward?
    * 12,232 MW total in queue
    * 3,537 MW dual-fuel (NG with oil backup)
    * 2,418 MW NatGas
    * 4,090 MW of increased interties (mostly to Canada)
    * 2,150 MW of wind (excluding Cape Wind)
    * 37 MW of waste disposal

    So there's a lot of wind that could come on line, but that all depends on federal policy replacing or renewing the ITC. Otherwise, or unless natural gas gets pricy, we'll just see more gas burned to replace Pilgrim.
     
  9. David29

    David29 Member

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    I feel regret about Pilgrim's planned closing, mainly for two reasons. First, I worked for what was then Boston Edison for 20 years, 15 or so in support of Pilgrim. I believe in the potential for nuclear power to be a safe and relatively low-pollution source of electricity. Second, closing it will somewhat raise our carbon footprint from operating our Tesla vehicles, which is unfortunate. In addition, there will be an economic impact on the employees, contractors, suppliers, and the community.
    On the other hand, the plant did not have the best safety and operations record, and lost the confidence of many (not all) through past incidents and problems. I have not worked there for many years now, so I cannot comment on how well or poorly it may actually be operating now. (In general, I think that the public does not understand nuclear power, fears it unreasonably, and the press does a mostly abysmal job of reporting on the technology, thus further compromising the ability of the public to know and understand.
    But it is also regrettable that the entire US nuclear industry has been essentially stagnant since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. If more plants had been built and operated safely and reliably, the entire picture would be quite different. Can't change that history, though....
     
  10. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Do check into the finances of the closing. Here in San Diego, our local for profit utility managed to get the regulator to approve rate hikes to compensate the utility for the profit they would have made if they had kept running the reactor. I kid you not.
     
  11. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    That is the tough number, for anybody in MA thinking about our CO2 policy right now. 3.5GW exceeds our multi-year solar goals, or at least the recent 1.6GW Patrick Administration bump. I was glad to hear the BakerAdministration pushing the legislature to enable more long-term contracts, for wind, solar and hydro. I don't think rate-payers appreciate nearly enough how inclined both the environmental community and the New England generators are to say "we have enough". Evidence to the contrary hides in plainsight. The Governor seems like he gets it.

    Pilgrim is U.S. closure announcement number 5, in around 3 years. Natural gas is doing it. Weak power prices are doing it. Renewable policy is doing it. Seabrook and Millstone could also close before their licenses (like Pilgrim's) even reach expiry. Why not, if Yankee and Pilgrim can start to go this way during natural gas shortages, and high oil prices? Isn't it fair to estimate that in our region, once pipes are layed, and with $45-50/brl oil, that profitability will sneak away from our other carbon-free resources?

    Remeber, too, that EPA recognizes natural gas as a means to comply with its CO2-numerated ruling, not nuclear. Pilgrim is another "rince, lather,repeat" example of how replacing nuclear with natural gas raises a state's NG/Coal ratio, and therefore lowers its carbon intensity (the final CPP baseson a NG + coal). Since MA has more logical CO2 reduction targets on its books, there is a chance Pilgrim gets revisited. A lot of pressure needs to be on state policy, to succeed.



    You can't change history, but I think we need to be open to adjusting our views, based on the evidence the environment gives us. A head-long policy to "do it without nukes" will hasten reaching 1,000Gt of marginal man-made CO2, by a good 10years. Maybe 2045, instead of 2055. We'll be aggressively priming the atmosphere, just as we get the feedbacks from what we did in the past.
     
  12. cfava

    cfava Member

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    I'm tired of reading newspaper articles stating Natural Gas drop was market driven;hence, hurting nuclear power's future?
    NG was helped by the government in a large way….


    Tax breaks or favorable treatment:


    1. Depletion Allowance
    2. G&G expensing
    3. EOR Tax Credit
    4. Marginal Well Tax Credit
    5. Intangible Drilling and Development Cost advantages
    6. Passive loss treatment
    7. Master Limited Partnership tax advantages (Pipeline construction/ LG storage )
    8. Fed's zero interest rate policy – Oil and gas industry major borrowers of junk bonds to fund many projects during the past 6 years.




    Let me make myself clear, I'm not necessary against all these items; I'm trying to make a point that the industry relied on government as a sugar daddy which caused prices to crash.
     
  13. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    Robert Boston has already covered it pretty well. Bear in mind Maine will have something approaching 750MW of total wind capacity installed and operational by Christmas, with more in the works trying to get planning permission. I've been dodging tower segments and turbine blades on the highway up here all summer.

    There's something like 50GW of winter potential out in the Gulf as well, should anyone want to work on engineering for deepwater floating turbines.
     
  14. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Oh so we're going to triple instead of just doubling the average national electricity rate? WTF. Well the rooftop solar break-even will drop to something like 1.5 years at that rate.
     
  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    This nuclear plant is closing because it's not cost-competitive under the current structure. The problem this causes for New England electricity pricing is that thanks to legislative dumbassitude the natural gas infrastructure is lagging the demand curve so we end up with high winter prices, but other than that, no, it's not going to raises prices.
     

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