Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 395 ✭✭
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/07/wind-power-companies-paid-to-not-produce/?test=latestnews

Seriously, this is just nuts. They actually asked the windmill farms to NOT produce any energy. All this cry over wanting to have all this green energy, and now they're actually turning it down? How does this not compute? Anywho, thought I'd toss this out, since it's a green energy topic to see what you guys think.

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

    this happened last year too about the time of the max spring freshet. A good discussion.

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?11476-Oregon-Wind-farms-forced-to-cut-back-power-generation&highlight=wind+farm

    forgot to add that this is where Flow batteries and other 'power parking' solutions come into play, release the power back onto the grid at a later time
     
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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

    Yep--That has been happening since, at least, last year too. From the article:
    But spilling too much water over the dam can apparently also be harmful. It can create too much oxygen in the water at the base of the dam, which has also killed salmon. Interestingly, fish advocates are unconvinced. Save Our Wild Salmon is encouraging BPA to test salmon downstream of the dams to determine if their being impacted by high oxygen levels, and only stop the overflows when they have proof fish are being harmed.
    Pat Ford, the group's executive director, said Bonneville is using the salmon as an excuse to keep hydropower dominant over wind power.

    I thought it was putting too much nitrogen in the water was the reason before... But I could also see it being the dams are under federal government control and they don't want to flush money over the spill-ways too. And the government has the power to stop the wind turbines.

    From a purely power networking point of view--Hydro is some of the "best" power out there. It can be spun up/down in something like a minute--Vs a day or more for a large coal or nuclear type power plant. And Hydro can be throttled up/down in very short time periods--whereas wind/coal/nuclear cannot.

    From a post I made here last year... This link:
    High water and hydroelectric output combined with low nighttime energy demand led BPA to temporarily limit other types of generation beginning at 12 a.m. Wednesday. BPA first limited all coal, natural gas and other thermal generation to minimum levels required for grid stability and safety. As a last resort, BPA then limited approximately 200 to 350 megawatts of wind power generation until 5 a.m. Wednesday totaling approximately 1,400 megawatt hours. There are currently more than 3,500 megawatts of wind energy connected to the BPA system. For comparison, 200 to 350 megawatts is about one-third of the generating capacity of Bonneville Dam. The limits have now been lifted and other generation is again operating normally. However, further limits may be needed in coming days.
    Rising runoff has pushed dissolved gas levels at most of the eight federal dams on the Lower Snake and Columbia Rivers above 120 percent, exceeding Washington and Oregon water quality standards and threatening protected salmon and steelhead. Reducing hydroelectric generation in such circumstances would send more water through spillways and could push gas levels higher for longer periods, further endangering fish.
    Dissolved gas levels are available in real time at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Management Division website.

    In itself, wind power direct to grid is a difficult resource to manage... For the most part, power companies match generating sources to current (and forecast) loads.

    We do not have a good way to manage loads based on highly variable generation output (aka wind turbines) today. So, many times, there are a lot of spinning stand-by power plants to take up the loads when wind is energy is actually running--To avoid grid collapse when the wind stops blowing.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

    just advising i moved the thread. i've been tidying up don't you know.

    anyway, i thought it best here for you were looking for an opinion and otherwise i might've put it in energy use and conservation, but that didn't seem to fit as this is energy disuse.
  • SolaRevolutionSolaRevolution Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

    So the incentives for wind generation came with a regulation which could stop disbursement payments based on the decisions of who?
    Who is continuing to be paid for producing electricity when the wind generators are shut down?

    The up-side of a "smart grid" is that it would be possible to have a regulated "dump load" circuit. When hydro and wind are putting out more than load demands, a smart grid could turn on dump loads (space heaters, EV charger, pump water to fill storage tanks, etc.) A house that uses natural gas for heat would burn less gas when the electric dump load heater turned on for a few hours. I guess its just a utopian pipe dream. The "smartest" grid I've seen is set up to turn off Air Conditioning in low-income housing to prevent brown-outs.


    Here is an article about making the grid able to transmit intercontenentally and to create huge storage facilities.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-solutions-achilles-heel-renewable-energy.html

    "With a grid this big, the authors say, averaging effects come into play and uncorrelated intermittencies can partially cancel each other out."
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

    Last year there was a massive excess of power on the entire west coast with very low demand (not cold here and not hot in LA). The wind companies wanted the BPA to pay them to NOT produce power when BPA was dumping free power into the grid to keep it stable, so the rate payers would have taken a double tap as wind energy cost more. The investment payback on the Wind Farms is based on renewable energy credits and production tax credits on the power sold, they also wanted BPA to pay those cost when shutdown.
  • SolaRevolutionSolaRevolution Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy
    So the incentives for wind generation came with a regulation which could stop disbursement payments based on the decisions of who?
    Who is continuing to be paid for producing electricity when the wind generators are shut down?

    Sorry. I was not clear on what I was getting at. What I was thinking is that if the Wind farms are regularly being shut down to the point where they loose their incentives they may have a good reason to seek payment for not producing.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

    Yea--But "unstable/high variable" power sources are not worth very much to a utility operating engineer... If these were highly variable loads instead--The utility would be charging 2x or more for utility power supplied to such users.

    Note that hydro is great because it is highly variable and quickly adjustable--Very valuable to a network engineer trying to keep the grid stable.

    A couple years ago, there was danger of overloading some high tension lines in one region because of excess wind power on a very windy day... The network engineers were frantically calling the wind farms to shut down--And getting ring no answer, voice mail, and the few they reached live--most did not shut down. Very close to cutting power to the region (again in the Northwest, as I recall).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

    It appears that as more of these large wind farms pop up, a lot of unintended and unexpected issues are coming along with them. One of the main problems with wind is that it is much less predictable that solar, and cannot be relied upon at all to provide any base load power.
  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy

    The truth is that wind on the local hydro dominated grid does nothing for us except make money for the wind companies. Most of heavy users of local power are gone (smelters) and the remaining large users are becoming more efficient with power use so now we have a large surplus almost year round unless there is a heat-wave in the west. The State mandate for wind and solar with incentives is the only reason for building systems here. Now with those incentives ending some companies are already slowing the pace.

    http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2012/01/large-scale-wind-may-wane-in-oregon.html
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Farms Told NOT To Produce Energy
    nsaspook wrote: »
    Most of heavy users of local power are gone (smelters) and the remaining large users are becoming more efficient with power use so now we have a large surplus almost year round

    http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2012/01/large-scale-wind-may-wane-in-oregon.html

    NOt to mention the impact of everyone shifting from Incandescent lights to CFL or LED has made. It may be small, but BC Hydro gave away a CFL bulb to every household a few years ago to delay the need for building a new dam for a few years... growth still there. but delayed
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
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