Bitter COLD in Oklahoma!

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Sep 29, 2011
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Breckenridge, CO
So when I said performed best through the storm I meant experienced the smallest drop, from those charts, solar did not experience a drop off, everything else did, I didn't say it had the best capacity factor, or availability, just the drop off. I am not trying to say any one generation type is at fault, but that they all took a hit. Except apparently solar.
But you’re still wrong solar did take a massive hit due to cloud cover most of the event. They forecasted it to be a small fraction of what it’s capable of and it did slightly better than that. To say it didn’t take a hit isn’t accurate. If it had been a blue bird sky solar would have produced much more. If a significant portion of installed solar wasn’t covered in snow the first couple of days your post would be true. But solar did not perform well in this event no matter how you slice it. What you are saying is like if one had a test at school and I think one is so dumb they will only make a 15 then throwing a party when you a 20. You still fail horribly.
FWIW, my 24 solar panels generated a whopping $2.12 of revenue in January.


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Sep 22, 2011
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But you’re still wrong solar did take a massive hit due to cloud cover most of the event. They forecasted it to be a small fraction of what it’s capable of and it did slightly better than that. To say it didn’t take a hit isn’t accurate. If it had been a blue bird sky solar would have produced much more. If a significant portion of installed solar wasn’t covered in snow the first couple of days your post would be true. But solar did not perform well in this event no matter how you slice it. What you are saying is like if one had a test at school and I think one is so dumb they will only make a 15 then throwing a party when one makes a 20. One still fails horribly.
it didn't take a hit due to the storm/cold, that is all I was trying to say, it is a tiny fraction of the power that was needed, they were already at low production due to clouds and short daylight hours, all that is true but the Ice/Snow/Cold did not cause it to drop. That is the only statement I made, which is true
 

Donnyboy

Lettin' the high times carry the low....
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Oct 31, 2005
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it didn't take a hit due to the storm/cold, that is all I was trying to say, it is a tiny fraction of the power that was needed, they were already at low production due to clouds and short daylight hours, all that is true but the Ice/Snow/Cold did not cause it to drop. That is the only statement I made, which is true
It did take a hit because of the storm and will take a hit every cloudy/snowy/rainy day from now on forever. You can’t say “those gas plants that couldn’t get gas because of the storm failed”. Then say solar that operated at 15% of what it can or should instead of 10% wasn’t impacted. Solar and wind were the most impacted technologies because they are WEATHER driven. Snow and ice took it to essentially nothing for days but it wasn’t part of the equation in the first place because it’s so unreliable in inclimate weather.....it’s such a crappy source of power it wasn’t even considered it doesn’t get a ribbon for being slightly above nothing....it also isn’t dispatchable and can’t provide the absolute 100% necessary ancillary products that have to be maintained for voltage and frequency.....If we had 10x the solar it still wouldn’t have mattered......again we cut load at night!!!
Your statement and the statements in the article aren’t correct for a bunch of reasons......I’m giving the ones that don’t involve physics and easily understood. I can keep going as to why it’s incorrect or people can just realize that a machine with 46,500 miles of line and 26 million customers may be more complex than a reporter figured out in two days with no technical background.

I will give you this.....in brilliant sun and zero degrees solar will produce. Now just find me another zero degree day ever in Texas and show me a weather pattern that gets to temps that threaten the grid in winter that doesn’t have clouds or precip and we’ll talk. Then when you are done with that exercise I will take you a single plant that made more than all the solar would even if it was sunny and stayed on through the whole thing I won’t even count night against the solar in average output.
 
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Apr 14, 2008
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Solar actually OVER performed their expectations. One of the reasons was due to the bright sun glare off the snow and ice that allowed the panels to capture even more light than normal.

And if you think of it. Solar IS nuclear power. Capturing the energy of Nuclear Fusion in the sun. It is the biggest nuclear reactor in our solar system.
How did the solar panels which I assume are pointed pretty much straight up benefit from reflection off of the ground? As far as "overproduced", I guess anything is possible when the bar is so low to begin with.
 

Donnyboy

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How did the solar panels which I assume are pointed pretty much straight up benefit from reflection off of the ground? As far as "overproduced", I guess anything is possible when the bar is so low to begin with.
They capture light and can move to maximize angles. The more light the more juice. Solar did exceed expectations. The missing data point is expectation was essentially zero.
 
Dec 11, 2011
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We are in SPP; most I personally saw from wind was 1.2%. Solar was a fraction of a % each day I looked. Most MW from wind I saw at one time on our system here in OK was 7...
 

Donnyboy

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Interesting stuff Donny.

Regarding NatGas fired generation, I wonder how much of the down capacity was due to (1) wellhead freeze offs, (2) pipeline delivery limitations, (3) gas storage withdraw limitations, (4) actual generation plant mechanical/operational failures.

Regardless, I guess the moral of the story is: Take any story touting or criticizing a particular source of power with a huge dose of salt - especially those extolling the virtues of renewable energy.


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I’m not sure the actual breakdown there were gas suppliers cutting off plants before the event even started.....well heads started freezing around Tuesday and absolutely cut some nominations....storage hung in there because it was maxed in February which is rare but thank god it was I don’t know of any storage issues.....there were a crap ton of forced outage issues.
 
Dec 11, 2011
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Some folks are probably going to be enlightened to one of those cons to natural gas power generation when the spike in gas prices get passed on to the customer from this episode. I think that may cause some ugly bills outside of the previously mentioned ones from TX using the flex billing.
 
Apr 14, 2009
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I don’t believe that the OCC will allow ONG to gouge its customers.
The gas coming out of storage was already paid for at a pre-event price.
 

Duke Silver

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Sep 17, 2004
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I don’t believe that the OCC will allow ONG to gouge its customers.
The gas coming out of storage was already paid for at a pre-event price.
Yes or contracted to lock in a set price all year long. A small town lets say agrees to buy from ong. They have a year long contract. In the contract they negotiate a price that they will buy it for that doesn't change during the contract.
 
Apr 14, 2009
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What happened in Texass is not the way to manage/negotiate public utilities. But you get the government that you deserve.
So Texass got what they deserve.
 

andylicious

Territorial Marshal
Nov 16, 2013
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It did take a hit because of the storm and will take a hit every cloudy/snowy/rainy day from now on forever. You can’t say “those gas plants that couldn’t get gas because of the storm failed”. Then say solar that operated at 15% of what it can or should instead of 10% wasn’t impacted. Solar and wind were the most impacted technologies because they are WEATHER driven. Snow and ice took it to essentially nothing for days but it wasn’t part of the equation in the first place because it’s so unreliable in inclimate weather.....it’s such a crappy source of power it wasn’t even considered it doesn’t get a ribbon for being slightly above nothing....it also isn’t dispatchable and can’t provide the absolute 100% necessary ancillary products that have to be maintained for voltage and frequency.....If we had 10x the solar it still wouldn’t have mattered......again we cut load at night!!!
Your statement and the statements in the article aren’t correct for a bunch of reasons......I’m giving the ones that don’t involve physics and easily understood. I can keep going as to why it’s incorrect or people can just realize that a machine with 46,500 miles of line and 26 million customers may be more complex than a reporter figured out in two days with no technical background.

I will give you this.....in brilliant sun and zero degrees solar will produce. Now just find me another zero degree day ever in Texas and show me a weather pattern that gets to temps that threaten the grid in winter that doesn’t have clouds or precip and we’ll talk. Then when you are done with that exercise I will take you a single plant that made more than all the solar would even if it was sunny and stayed on through the whole thing I won’t even count night against the solar in average output.
I will disagree with you on the net effect of solar during the storms and cold snap. I use solar pumps instead of windmills to water my cattle. I realize that my solar cells are not putting out MWh of energy but I had only had one day where I had to knock snow off the panels. In fact, I had enough power that even on a day that was cloudy and no direct sun I didn't have to break ice because the water started running, after I broke the float out of the ice and it melted a nice hole in the ice. We do have the pipes set to where they drain well, but I was impressed with sun rotor, especially when my windmill froze up. Solar can work, it's just a matter of keeping the panels clean.
 

Donnyboy

Lettin' the high times carry the low....
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Oct 31, 2005
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I will disagree with you on the net effect of solar during the storms and cold snap. I use solar pumps instead of windmills to water my cattle. I realize that my solar cells are not putting out MWh of energy but I had only had one day where I had to knock snow off the panels. In fact, I had enough power that even on a day that was cloudy and no direct sun I didn't have to break ice because the water started running, after I broke the float out of the ice and it melted a nice hole in the ice. We do have the pipes set to where they drain well, but I was impressed with sun rotor, especially when my windmill froze up. Solar can work, it's just a matter of keeping the panels clean.
The production data for second largest state in the nation disagrees with you. I’m not guessing or offering opinion the data is public.
 
Sep 29, 2011
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Breckenridge, CO
It did take a hit because of the storm and will take a hit every cloudy/snowy/rainy day from now on forever. You can’t say “those gas plants that couldn’t get gas because of the storm failed”. Then say solar that operated at 15% of what it can or should instead of 10% wasn’t impacted. Solar and wind were the most impacted technologies because they are WEATHER driven. Snow and ice took it to essentially nothing for days but it wasn’t part of the equation in the first place because it’s so unreliable in inclimate weather.....it’s such a crappy source of power it wasn’t even considered it doesn’t get a ribbon for being slightly above nothing....it also isn’t dispatchable and can’t provide the absolute 100% necessary ancillary products that have to be maintained for voltage and frequency.....If we had 10x the solar it still wouldn’t have mattered......again we cut load at night!!!
Your statement and the statements in the article aren’t correct for a bunch of reasons......I’m giving the ones that don’t involve physics and easily understood. I can keep going as to why it’s incorrect or people can just realize that a machine with 46,500 miles of line and 26 million customers may be more complex than a reporter figured out in two days with no technical background.

I will give you this.....in brilliant sun and zero degrees solar will produce. Now just find me another zero degree day ever in Texas and show me a weather pattern that gets to temps that threaten the grid in winter that doesn’t have clouds or precip and we’ll talk. Then when you are done with that exercise I will take you a single plant that made more than all the solar would even if it was sunny and stayed on through the whole thing I won’t even count night against the solar in average output.
I will disagree with you on the net effect of solar during the storms and cold snap. I use solar pumps instead of windmills to water my cattle. I realize that my solar cells are not putting out MWh of energy but I had only had one day where I had to knock snow off the panels. In fact, I had enough power that even on a day that was cloudy and no direct sun I didn't have to break ice because the water started running, after I broke the float out of the ice and it melted a nice hole in the ice. We do have the pipes set to where they drain well, but I was impressed with sun rotor, especially when my windmill froze up. Solar can work, it's just a matter of keeping the panels clean.
Meh, solar is fine, if not great, in applications when you don’t have to install or pay for the cost of transmission. But if you are burdened with the cost of transmission, solar is a massive loser. Same with wind.


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Donnyboy

Lettin' the high times carry the low....
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Oct 31, 2005
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What happened in Texass is not the way to manage/negotiate public utilities. But you get the government that you deserve.
So Texass got what they deserve.
How would you have managed it and how would other places have managed it. People don’t understand the scope of this storm. These were the coldest temps ever recorded in Texas for three days. Not one minute then back to 30 by noon. Texas is also gigantic.....and wasn’t the only one with problems. It it gets to 125 degrees or negative 30 with the largest single day snow even in history this summer/winter and stays there for three days in VT, MA,CT, ME, NY, NJ, PA,RI, NH then we’ll see how they do. Here’s a hint.....the won’t do well there were large customer outages and the forced outage rate of plants went up 22% in the 2014 polar vortex in the PJM (Penn, Jersey, Maryland covers more than those states largest interconnect in the eastern grid control area) interconnect when temps were similar then to what they were here and they should be made for it.
People are mad because the grid is so good we take it for granted. It is the most essential piece of infrastructure we have and it is far and away the cheapest and most dependable. It hiccuped during a weather event that will change design criteria.

So fix it.....fix something that is 99.9% reliable over the last 51 years and is cheaper than it was 25 years ago. And do it without changing people monthly bills that are probably less than they pay for a phone to play candy crush on or building anything near anyone.
 
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Birry

Federal Marshal
Feb 6, 2007
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How would you have managed it and how would other places have managed it. People don’t understand the scope of this storm. These were the coldest temps ever recorded in Texas for three days. Not one minute then back to 30 by noon. Texas is also gigantic.....and wasn’t the only one with problems. It it gets to 125 degrees or negative 30 with the largest single day snow even in history this summer/winter and stays there for three days in VT, MA,CT, ME, NY, NJ, PA,RI, NH then we’ll see how they do. Here’s a hint.....the won’t do well there were large customer outages and the forced outage rate of plants went up 22% in the 2014 polar vortex in the PJM (Penn, Jersey, Maryland covers more than those states largest interconnect in the eastern grid control area) interconnect when temps were similar then to what they were here and they should be made for it.
People are mad because the grid is so good we take it for granted. It is the most essential piece of infrastructure we have and it is far and away the cheapest and most dependable. It hiccuped during a weather event that will change design criteria.

So fix it.....fix something that is 99.9% reliable over the last 51 years and is cheaper than it was 25 years ago. And do it without changing people monthly bills that are probably less than they pay for a phone to play candy crush on or building anything near anyone.
Your numbers are way off. Assuming 3 full days of disrupted power, that's 99.61% reliable. Get your story straight.
/sarcasm

Seriously, it's frustrating to be subjected to the cold that we were, but people really need to realize what they're asking when they want the grid to be able to handle events like this. It would be like me designing every part of a building for tornado-level wind speeds. It's nonsense, because it would cost 100x the same building designed for current code-level events.