Going Green

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Loss of Wind Equals Emergency

This is an issue that I've posted about previously. The variability of wind power can create a nightmare for utilities.

Think about what happens when a major cold front passes through. You often begin with a southwest wind that drops to near calm as the front approaches and then switches to the north and the temperatures drop. That lull in the wind creates a temporary "hole" in the power flowing into the grid just before the temperatures drop and everyone's heater kicks on.

Think about summer. The hot still days are when we most want our air conditioners. Those days don't produce much wind.

Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A drop in wind generation late on Tuesday, coupled with colder weather, triggered an electric emergency that caused the Texas grid operator to cut service to some large customers, the grid agency said on Wednesday.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said a decline in wind energy production in west Texas occurred at the same time evening electric demand was building as colder temperatures moved into the state.

The grid operator went directly to...(complete article here).

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