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Trump prepares to order grid operators to prop up money losing coal, nuke plants

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UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
23,239
5,782
136
Batteries are expensive but look at cost of production by various means

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_04.html
Also, that big Tesla battery seems to be working in Australia. Made a cool million bucks in the first week of operation...but it also has some very specific use cases (I.e. it won't replace more traditional energy sources but can help with spikes in demand/pricing.)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/06/how-teslas-big-battery-is-bringing-australias-gas-cartel-to-heel

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-06/tesla-battery-outperforms-coal-and-gas/9625726
 

dyna

Senior member
Oct 20, 2006
813
61
91
Funny how just about anything can be rationalized using irrational fear, isn't it?
I'm not sure how you can say its irrational. Netflix prepares for disasters more than you can imagine. The power grid is definitely more important than Netflix by comparison. Every major system spends additional money for the just in case scenario.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,621
9,698
126
Also, that big Tesla battery seems to be working in Australia. Made a cool million bucks in the first week of operation...but it also has some very specific use cases (I.e. it won't replace more traditional energy sources but can help with spikes in demand/pricing.)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/06/how-teslas-big-battery-is-bringing-australias-gas-cartel-to-heel

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-06/tesla-battery-outperforms-coal-and-gas/9625726
I don't understand why Australia is not investing more on Solar.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
37,493
12,016
136
I'm not sure how you can say its irrational. Netflix prepares for disasters more than you can imagine. The power grid is definitely more important than Netflix by comparison. Every major system spends additional money for the just in case scenario.
These aren't backups. Plants will be paid a premium to run, grid operators will be required to buy that power, and the tab passed on to consumers directly and indirectly through higher cost products.
 
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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
37,493
12,016
136
I thought batteries were going to stay as niche tech due to cost concerns? Energy storage is THE challenge facing renewables at this time, though. It's something that I find fascinating and hope there are some breakthroughs soon.

Guys, serious question, what do we really know about the natural gas infrastructure? From the numbers I can find, it looks like, depending on the time of year, we may have less than a month of storage available, which may or may not be enough, though it sounds a little low to be safe from disruptions in supply. Is this infrastructure any more or less vulnerable to acts of war or terrorism than other sources? The whole world is coming to rely on gas more heavily, these questions might be worth exploring in more detail. My searches have produced volumes of information, but little of it is directly relevant to these concerns.
No, deployment will spread as pack cost continues to decline.

Natural gas is shipped by pipeline across the US and has been for decades. The only place with real constraints is the NE where residential heat has been switching over from fuel oil to NG and pipeline capacity hasn't grown mutch. Though they look to be jumping into offshore wind very soon so that's going to be less of a problem.

Coal power isn't immune to a fuel supply disruption either unless it's a mine mouth plant. Also in the big NE polar vortex a bunch of coal power tripped off due to frozen coal piles and clogged feeding mechanisms. Overall though grid failures are responsible for like 98% of outages to really this is a solution in search of a problem that will line the pockets of a few connected companies.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,680
9,843
136
I'm not sure how you can say its irrational. Netflix prepares for disasters more than you can imagine. The power grid is definitely more important than Netflix by comparison. Every major system spends additional money for the just in case scenario.
Preparing for the worst is not the same as saying we have to do something or else the worst will happen.
 

IJTSSG

Golden Member
Aug 12, 2014
1,098
267
136
The real threat to the power grid is how much of it is still exposed to the internet. It's better than it used to be and a lot of work is being done but there's still a lot of risk that needs to be mitigated.

My company is putting gas fired co-gens at all of our plants. The energy companies simply can't provide the quantity or reliability we need.
 

Thebobo

Lifer
Jun 19, 2006
18,592
7,667
136
Bitcoin miners and their factory setups are real problem is some states.
 

FIVR

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2016
3,753
907
106
I've been convinced for a few months now that Dump is manipulating the markets for the personal gain of either his children, his cronies, himself, or all three. There are too many "coincidences". I made $3200 today by having him on twitter alerts and buying calls on the SPY index after he tweeted about the jobs report. You can actually trade Dump on the markets if you follow his twitter turds.
 
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Thebobo

Lifer
Jun 19, 2006
18,592
7,667
136
I've been convinced for a few months now that Dump is manipulating the markets for the personal gain of either his children, his cronies, himself, or all three. There are too many "coincidences". I made $3200 today by having him on twitter alerts and buying calls on the SPY index after he tweeted about the jobs report. You can actually trade Dump on the markets if you follow his twitter turds.
So insider trading eh
 

dyna

Senior member
Oct 20, 2006
813
61
91
These aren't backups. Plants will be paid a premium to run, grid operators will be required to buy that power, and the tab passed on to consumers directly and indirectly through higher cost products.
The article is about keeping them up for generation of reserve power. It is about backup, that is exactly what reserve power means.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
37,493
12,016
136
The article is about keeping them up for generation of reserve power. It is about backup, that is exactly what reserve power means.
Utilities can't terminate contracts with generators, even mutually, under the proposed order. Means that overpriced power is going to be delivered for at least the next two years.

Ordering the system operators to purchase all coal and nuke capacity is also going to get very expensive. This scheme could actually collapse the wholesale power market.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,621
9,698
126
Utilities can't terminate contracts with generators, even mutually, under the proposed order. Means that overpriced power is going to be delivered for at least the next two years.

Ordering the system operators to purchase all coal and nuke capacity is also going to get very expensive.

Pass the cost all to Trump properties.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,862
1,648
126
Utilities can't terminate contracts with generators, even mutually, under the proposed order. Means that overpriced power is going to be delivered for at least the next two years.

Ordering the system operators to purchase all coal and nuke capacity is also going to get very expensive. This scheme could actually collapse the wholesale power market.
I've read the article several times and must have missed that "all" part each time. One takeaway though, is that the DoD ought to be generating its own electricity if it's so worried about disruptions. Maybe they can fire sale some usable stuff from decommissioned coal plants.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
37,493
12,016
136
I've read the article several times and must have missed that "all" part each time. One takeaway though, is that the DoD ought to be generating its own electricity if it's so worried about disruptions. Maybe they can fire sale some usable stuff from decommissioned coal plants.
Trump ordered Perry to stop the shutdown of coal and nuclear power plants today. I expect the list of facilities will simply be a list of all operating coal and nuclear plants in the country. This is the administration's typical approach on everything, turn it to 11.

Critical DOD facilities already, 100%, have emergency power available.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,862
1,648
126
Critical DOD facilities already, 100%, have emergency power available.
Come on, you know that's not the same thing as all facilities having all their own power 24/7.

I have to wonder if you are more than just an advocate for renewables, have you disclosed a vested interest in such here on the the forum? Not trying to pry, if the info is out there, I'm just requesting a reiteration. You're obviously pretty knowledgeable.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
37,493
12,016
136
Come on, you know that's not the same thing as all facilities having all their own power 24/7.

I have to wonder if you are more than just an advocate for renewables, have you disclosed a vested interest in such here on the the forum? Not trying to pry, if the info is out there, I'm just requesting a reiteration. You're obviously pretty knowledgeable.
Because it's really unnecessary. The only time you might generate on site is if you have a large enough building(s) to take advantage of CHP for heating and cooling loads plus easy access to natural gas. Grid plus backup generators is sufficient.

I tend to follow this issue, amongst others, somewhat closely out of sheer intellectual interest.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
33,939
12,738
146
I've been convinced for a few months now that Dump is manipulating the markets for the personal gain of either his children, his cronies, himself, or all three. There are too many "coincidences". I made $3200 today by having him on twitter alerts and buying calls on the SPY index after he tweeted about the jobs report. You can actually trade Dump on the markets if you follow his twitter turds.
Trump is out for Trump, 100%, 100% of the time.
 
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crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,862
1,648
126
Because it's really unnecessary. The only time you might generate on site is if you have a large enough building(s) to take advantage of cogeneration for heating and cooling loads plus easy access to natural gas. Grid plus backup generators is sufficient.

I tend to follow this issue, amongst others, somewhat closely out of sheer intellectual interest.
The case is being made that grid plus emergency generators in the current state of the grid is not not enough for them, thus the proposition that we postpone these nuke and coal phaseouts. If they were really smart, they'd sponsor small dispatchable generation facilities near or on their sites, this would help them feel less paranoid, and also enable faster penetration of renewables.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
The case is being made that grid plus emergency generators in the current state of the grid is not not enough for them, thus the proposition that we postpone these nuke and coal phaseouts. If they were really smart, they'd sponsor small dispatchable generation facilities near or on their sites, this would help them feel less paranoid, and also enable faster penetration of renewables.

The case being made is that Trump wants nuclear and coal and so he's found a justification in his own mind. Does anyone really think he did his homework? Almost all of us are more capable.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,862
1,648
126
The case being made is that Trump wants nuclear and coal and so he's found a justification in his own mind. Does anyone really think he did his homework? Almost all of us are more capable.
Have you read the memo? I've made it partially through. This isn't Trump, it's those who have the opportunity to become ascendant because of Trump. Trump can barely string two sentences together. The thing is, I am not convinced those behind the memo are 100% wrong, especially when some of the refutations of it appear to be knee-jerk responses. As far as I can tell, two years is not going to kill anyone, and the sole believable opposition to it is the gas and renewable people, naturally. (pun alert)
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,862
1,648
126
Quote from Exhibit "B," "Synopsis of NERC Reliability Assessments," from "Comments of NERC re Proposed Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing" before the FERC, Oct 23, 2017:
Impact of Premature Retirements: Conventional units,such as coal plants, provide frequency support services as a function of their large spinning generators and governor-control settings along with reactive support for voltage control. Power system operators use these services to plan and operate reliably under a variety of system conditions, generally without the concern of having too few of these services available. Coal-fired and nuclear generation have the added benefits of high availability rates, low forced outages, and secured onsite fuel. Many months of on-site fuel allow these units to operate in a manner independent of supply chain disruptions.
I have a wall clock from the '60s which contains a synchronous motor, an invention of Nikola Tesla, btw, which relies on the constancy of the 60Hz waveform upon which our power is delivered for its accuracy. Amazingly, to this very day, it is still extremely accurate, because the power companies make it so via minute adjustments in the frequency. As the mix of generation capacity continues to move away from large spinning generators, this control gets much more difficult to maintain. It could be that we have come to a point where perfect synchronization is unnecessary for clocks, but it's still critical to maintain synchronous operation between interconnected grids. Without the control and stabilization mechanism provided by those massive spinning generators, I believe this becomes a significant challenge. Note that nuclear plants provide the same frequency stability as coal plants, it's these in particular that I would like to save from the chopping block, for the moment, since they don't pollute like coal plants do.
 

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