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Author Topic: Wind Power  (Read 15387 times)

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2014, 03:01:44 pm »
Wind Energy Helps Ward Off Power Outages

Michael Goggin, AWEA

January 08, 2014 | 6 Comments

Over the last 48 hours, wind energy played a critical role in keeping homeowners warm as grid operators across the Eastern and Central U.S. worked overtime to keep up with record-breaking winter demand.

Most importantly, wind energy provided massive quantities of extremely valuable electricity when grid operators needed it most to meet demand from electric heaters and furnace fans. In several cases, wind energy’s output provided the critical difference that allowed grid operators to keep supply and demand in balance and the lights on. Wind energy also helped by offsetting natural gas consumption at gas-fired power plants, keeping natural gas prices in check by making more natural gas available for building heat.

The last two days serve as a powerful reminder that wind energy plays a critical role in diversifying our energy mix, improving energy reliability and reducing energy costs for homes and businesses. Diversity inherently makes the power system more reliable by protecting against the unexpected failures that afflict all energy sources from time to time.

While wind energy output does change with the wind speed, such changes occur far more slowly than the unexpected outages that frequently occur at large conventional power plants. Moreover, changes in wind energy output are predictable using weather forecasting, while conventional power plant failures are not, making them far more difficult and costly for grid operators to accommodate.

Diversifying our energy mix with wind energy also protects consumers from energy price fluctuations. By providing consumers with more choice, wind energy reduces the price of both electricity and fossil fuels and hedges against price volatility, both during times of crisis and over the longer-term.

As the winter storm moved from west to east over the last two days, wind energy repeatedly proved its reliability and value:

As the cold and high winds first rolled into the Upper Midwest, the MISO grid operator saw very high wind energy output of around 8,000 MW, enough to supply 6 million average homes under typical conditions.

Then in Texas, the more than 2,000 MW of wind output on Monday morning was the critical difference keeping heaters running as the grid operator struggled with numerous outages at conventional power plants. More than 13,000 MW of conventional power plants were down for maintenance, while another 2,000 MW of conventional power plants experienced unplanned outages, forcing the grid operator to resort to emergency procedures. In a similar incident two years ago, wind energy earned accolades from the grid operator for helping to keep the lights on as dozens of conventional power plants failed in another cold snap.

More cold air reached the East Coast Monday evening. The grid operator for the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states, PJM, saw very high wind energy output when it needed it most. Wind output was above 3,000 MW when the grid operator faced extreme challenges due to the unexpected failure of numerous fossil-fired power plants as well as two large nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Finally, on Tuesday afternoon, very high electricity prices and natural gas prices across New England are being reduced by high wind output across the region’s wind plants.

Wind energy diversifies our energy mix, providing consumers with more reliable and lower cost electricity during both extreme weather and normal conditions.


Agelbert Comment on the comments:  ;D

January 9, 2014

Thank you Brian Ross and Jeff Green for providing truth and logical discourse to the comments.

When the tsunami hit the East coast of Japan, wind turbines directly in its path did not fail and continued to provide electricity vitally needed after the disaster. They were the unsung heroes of that tsunami. But not ONE SINGLE newspaper article was written in the USA about these marvels of renewable energy technology.

Also, anyone with absolutely any knowledge about how transmission lines are affected by high winds and loads from freezing rain and/or branches falling on them knows that wind, particularly in the winter, is a huge challenge to grid stability. Centralized power plants WEAKEN the grid by reducing redundancy along the transmission lines that DON'T fail. Multiple redundant power sources like wind turbines are providing a high amount of power exactly when the wind is highest and transmission lines are most subject to outage by wind damage.

Wind turbines are further proof that distributed renewable energy is the only viable future for energy on this planet has. But, of course, the defenders of centralized power utilities will continue to fight it with hyperbole, exaggerations and mendacity while they are silent as tombs about the massive subsidies all these dirty energy providers are sucking out of us in order to remain "competitive". LOL!

I live in Vermont and Green Mountain Power is extremely pleased with wind turbine performance during the recent high winds and freezing rain providing power to thousands of homes with space heaters, not furnaces, for heat.

Yes, New Englanders mostly heat with furnaces but those furnaces require electricity to maintain the combustion spark AND a yearly inspection running over $150 along with skyrocketing heating oil costs. People are pretty tired of that game.

I switched to electric heat and have saved thousands of dollars in heating costs in the last 8 years. For those that use wood pellet stoves, no outside electricity is needed but those still pollute the air MORE than wind turbine electricity heat. We do not need to keep destroying forests to heat our homes! If you can make the pellets from biofuels then go for it as long as you don't contribute to destroying old growth forests; that's just wrong because it hampers biosphere diversity and a livable biome for thousands of species.

Here's my latest blog right here at Renewable Energy World picturing a viable energy future:



Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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