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Wind Projected to supply ~50% of electricity for mid-west tonight (2/23/17)

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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  2. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    • Like x 3
  3. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Sure looks like curtailment is what's holding wind back right now... :mad:

    Not sure if SPP is being cautious, helping the coal plants or if there's transmission constraints that are holding back wind generation...

    This is the primary reason I think we need to be more thoughtful with our investment and use of distributed storage. The uncoordinated deployment and use of distributed storage is likely to make these problems worse if the primary objective is to maximize the self-consumption of solar. Curtailment events almost always occur at night.
     
  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it would be a problem. Solar charges battery. Evening demand discharges battery which means that there's available capacity during the night. And if, as we hope, consumers have electric cars, it'd be pretty hard (if you're not wk057) to have enough solar to charge the car, so smart charging would provide production response.
     
  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    That IS the problem. If distributed storage isn't coordinated you're charging your battery with solar when the grid needs it the most... during the day. Then using your stored energy at night... when the grid has surplus energy.

    Basically uncoordinated use of distributed storage will lead to not only unnecessary cycling of batteries but detrimental cycling of batteries. It's counter productive to charge batteries during the day when there's a deficit on the grid then force the curtailment of wind energy at night since you're running off of stored energy.

    Wind is becoming such a dominant source of energy that the charging and discharging of distributed storage needs to be based much more on the availability of wind power that what's happening on your side of the meter.
     
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  6. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    If I read that graph correctly they predict 14 GW wind and 22 GW load tonight and early tomorrow morning which works out to 64%! Whoa that would break the record.
     
  7. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    If it doesn't get curtailed...

    I'm pretty sure it'll get curtailed... :(
     
  8. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    How do know? Do they have X GW of coal that they won't turn down? Transmission constraints? I'm just not very familiar with the area. When our BPA curtailed wind a few years back, it was Spring and a big water year much like this year will be. They were spilling water like mad, curtailing wind and all of the thermal plants were off including our 1.1 GW nuclear plant. I tried to help by driving more;)

    On the SPP website it says about 16 GW of wind is installed, so getting 14 in generations suggests constant 25 mph winds throughout the installed area. Pretty good, but it's spring.
     
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  9. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I don't know for sure... but the predicted vs actual graph is suspiciously tracking with demand... it sure looks like wind is being curtailed for some reason.
     
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  10. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    Yes, it looks like you're right. Wind is predicted to be flat for days, but produced power is dropping as load is dropping overnight. Too bad
     
  11. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Curtailment is Colorado's story too. Bloody coal reactors
     
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  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    The trumpish era is going to bless the idea of prioritizing coal use first, when rational policy should be clean energy first and fossil fuels last. If coal plants are not profitable in that scheme, they need to shut down.

    Sad, how much damage one idiot in the WH can cause.
     
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  13. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #13 Ulmo, Mar 6, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
    Curtailment proponents say that it is OK to not communicate to users (via prices or any other method) when more power is available, thus not giving users (and the whole grid) the opportunity to use the better (cleaner) energy. I say that's wrong. Let's look at variable large load users:
    1. Electric vehicle charging
    2. Water pumping
    3. Water heating
    4. Desalination
    5. Sewage filtering
    All of those users have minimum needs, but all of them also have variable needs. Those variable needs could easily take advantage of less expensive electricity available when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing and that power is available to those users.

    Interestingly but not coincidentally, many of the large fields of windmills, solar panels, and hydroelectric power are located relatively close to where the huge water projects are that could use a large amount of this power. It is doubtful that it would be cost prohibitive to find available transmission facilities for that power, or to enhance it to some degree. It is true that a lot of the users are far from those variable generation sites, as well, but that has been partially true for most generators for a long time. Even if there is insufficient transmission capacity now, a large proportion of variable use could be used by (automated) variable users.

    One easy way to communicate that availability is on the order of a second or so precision real time pricing. Sun shines, wind blows, and you make available energy according to what users can use. It could even be offered in terms of a gust of wind: the gust starts, milliseconds later you find buyers in some city that you presently can deliver to on grid, and you then put it on the grid within a second of the gust of wind. The gust dies down a few seconds later, you raise the price, and the grid relents within a second. Similar with clouds and sun. The smoothing function would happen over distances and with some batteries. Faster response times could be required for more extreme transitions. But even clouds take time to cross the skies, so there is a rolling effect that averages things out.

    Essentially, I find "curtailment" a sort of cheap way to describe planning that partially includes cheap behavior of pro-pollution forces trying to get more money than they really need by supplanting available and usable clean energy sources more than they need to, but also includes outdated and insufficient models for communicating available resources to end users. Plenty of end uses are variable.

    In a fast response system, even long-term constant users like air conditioners and refrigerators can option to turn on exactly when there's some more energy and turn off exactly when there's less energy, within a degree of their target temperature (have dual triggers in each direction: when it needs to get colder, start looking for available energy, and another trigger to override the availability check). But definitely a lot of large users like water pumping into tanks, reservoirs and canals, water filtering, and in homes water heating, can be done in a much more variable manner. Those users in aggregate could easily soak up all the current renewable variations throughout the day.



    All of this will be irrelevant when we have more clean energy than we ever need energy at all, and "curtailment" (lack of dispatch) will be done 100% of the time somewhere, all the while no dirty energy sources are ever used. That is our goal. Never forget that. If there is insufficient clean energy sources due to a drop in some sort of variable source, then we can do a combination of build more clean energy sources, more storage, and more variable users.

    P.S., my writing is most likely regional and California-centric. Huge water projects, wind farms, solar farms and hydroelectric generators probably aren't the same elsewhere. My writing is entirely relevant for 40,000,000 people.
     
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  14. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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  15. RichardC

    RichardC Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter

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    I believe that you your observations are more generally applicable. We are on a variable price plan where the cost of power can vary by up to a multiple of fifteen times (from lowest to critical peak pricing). Through use of pricing sensitive load shedding equipment for home heating, hot water and electric car charging, we have shifted up to 96% of our power consumption to times outside the 3 pm to 9 pm peak load / price period.
     
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  16. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    Very informative post. If I read the SPP website correctly, the wholesale prices were negative throughout the entire multstate region last night. So it appears that this information is available, it's just not being used, or the dynamic pricing is not being offered to the end user.
     

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