integrating solar into the grid

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Old Rocks, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    A very interesting lecture on progress in integrating solar into the grid. Real science and engineering, by a Phd.
     
  2. Asclepias
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    Asclepias Diamond Member

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    Thats fake news. Any Drumpfling will tell you that.
     
  3. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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  4. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Actually the lecture is concerned with utility scale solar. Any time that a disruptive technology is introduced, there are inevitable downsides to it that have to be ironed out.
     
  5. EvilEyeFleegle
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    EvilEyeFleegle Gold Member

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    Yes indeed...

    This is an interesting article on the very subject... A New Era of Batteries Spells Trouble for Gas in America


    "The shift away from fossil fuels in power generation has been pronounced in California, where tougher standards for cleaner air and fuel have become a model for the rest of the country and the world. Gas use dropped to 36 percent of the state’s electricity supply in 2016 from 42 percent a decade earlier, while renewables jumped to 25 percent from 11 percent over the same period, state data show.

    Renewables are dumping so much power onto the state’s grid -- on some days it can be more than half of all supply -- some generators are losing money because of weak wholesale electricity prices.

    That’s a problem for companies whose plants only generate power during periods of peak demand, like some of those run by Calpine. Last year, the Houston-based firm told California’s grid operator that it would have to retire plants because of low prices. The operator determined the market needed the plants for reliability and allowed Calpine to sign profitable, must-run contracts for 2018.

    “These gas plants typically sit idle for much of the year, whereas a battery could be used for a range of other services, such as helping integrate renewables,” said Logan Goldie-Scot, an energy storage analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance in San Francisco.

    California’s utility commission wants San Francisco-based PG&E to find power storage or a clean energy alternative to those Calpine contracts. The utility said it supports the agency’s order and asked that power-line upgrades be considered as part of the plan.

    Houston-based Calpine opposes the order. In a Dec. 29 letter to the commission, the company said the move imposes “unreasonable costs and risks on customers” and departs from a “considered, thoughtful approach to grid reliability.”

    California still needs gas plants to back up a state grid that’s “under pressure from volatile solar power,” Kit Konolige, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a note Thursday. In 2016, about 3,100 megawatts of gas plants retired with 700 megawatts of new gas units coming online, Konolige said. One megawatt can power about 750 homes, according to the state."
     
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  6. task0778
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    task0778 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    "Houston-based Calpine opposes the order. In a Dec. 29 letter to the commission, the company said the move imposes “unreasonable costs and risks on customers” and departs from a “considered, thoughtful approach to grid reliability.”

    Here's the problem: what's it going to cost the consumers to move away from natural gas, which I thought was clean burning. How much extra will they have to pay on their energy bills? And what's the rush? For a party that claims to be for the little guy, the Dems don't seem to mind raising their energy costs. The costs of solar power is dropping, and I would think in the not too distant future it will be a lot more affordable. And the technology behind those batteries will improve too, so again what's the rush?
     
  7. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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  8. HaShev
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    HaShev Gold Member

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    A mix of wind and solar covers each off times and wind tourbines are a bigger bang for your buck unless you live in calm areas.
    Does anyone know anything about those
    less monsterous Lantern Shape 5 Blade Wind Turbines?
     
  9. Old Rocks
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    As many of the gas generation plants are backup plants, that is. they are only used on peak demand, and charge a very high rate for the electricity they produce, the batteries charge far less, and are in constant use smoothing out the variable output from solar and wind. That makes them a bargain for the utility and the consumer.

    How Tesla's big battery is bringing Australia’s gas cartel to heel

    On Sunday 14 January something very unusual happened.

    The Australian Energy Market Operator called – as it often does – for generators in South Australia to provide a modest amount of network services known as FCAS, or frequency control and ancillary services.

    This time, though, the market price did not go into orbit and the credit must go to the newly installed Tesla big battery and the neighbouring Hornsdale windfarm.

    The call for 35MW of FCAS – usually made when there is planned maintenance or a system fault on the interconnector between Victoria and South Australia – has become a running joke in the electricity market, and a costly one for consumers.

    The big gas generators – even though they have 10 times more capacity than is required – have systematically rorted the situation, sometimes charging up to $7m a day for a service that normally comes at one-tenth of the price.

    (You can read reports on how they do it here, here and here, and for a more detailed explanation at the bottom of this story.)

    The difference in January was that there is a new player in the market: Tesla. The company’s big battery, officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, bid into the market to ensure that prices stayed reasonable, as predicted last year.

    Rather than jumping up to prices of around $11,500 and $14,000/MW, the bidding of the Tesla big battery – and, in a major new development, the adjoining Hornsdale windfarm – helped (after an initial spike) to keep them at around $270/MW.
     

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