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Old 02-23-2021, 02:33 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by timfromma View Post
Isn't deregulation wonderful.

Reminds me of a favorite quote: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you..."
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:19 PM   #122
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He is stopping the power companies from cutting off your electric for non payment. He has not said you don't have to eventually pay that $2000 a day bill though.
I'm not worried about me. I won't have one of those bills. I'm on a local co-op and have a fixed rate.

Electric bills banned.


As far as natural gas, I'm out in the country on propane, and that's already been paid for.
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Old 02-25-2021, 03:34 PM   #123
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From recent updates part of tne problem was made worse because we in texas are not connected to the national power grid. So we could not tap into power from other regions.

And most of the lost capacity was nuclear and gas/coal

As part of deregulation we have have suppliers budding to supply energy and this has led to slim prophit margins. So they put off upgrades that are not mandated

Tne last time this happened there were recommendations but not mandates.

We never seem to learn
.
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:15 PM   #124
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As part of deregulation we have have suppliers budding to supply energy and this has led to slim prophit margins. So they put off upgrades that are not mandated

Tne last time this happened there were recommendations but not mandates.

We never seem to learn
.
You are not unique in this regard!
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:32 PM   #125
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Please, this has been corrected by the Texas PUC and ERCOT. The major factor in the power outage was natural gas, coal and nuclear plants going offline. The failure to winterize all sources of power generation and pipelines caused plants to trip offline. I was on state operations council in 2011 when this happened and the state and federal recommendations were never implemented. There are wind generating farms, solar generation, natural gas and nuclear in states that routinely have to deal with temperatures lower than those in Texas and yet they manage to kerp the power on and the water flowing. Of course, Iíve only lived in Texas for 68 years so there may be someone who has more experience with Texas weather than me.

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Old 02-25-2021, 07:42 PM   #126
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The failure was not based on Green Wind and Solar. That is Fox News propaganda. Failure was based on gas plants and fossil fuels no being able to to get to the generating stations.

USA Today.

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/ne...rk/6764764002/


Quote from Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University.

Are frozen wind turbines to blame?

Some have pointed to freezing on wind turbines as a potential cause of the widespread outages, saying the renewable energy source is not reliable, but Cohan called those arguments "a red herring."

Rai said there are times of the year when wind is an extremely important energy source for Texas, powering half of the state's electricity supply.

This week, operators planned for much less wind capacity, though, Cohan said.

"Firm resources" Ė such as gas, coal and nuclear Ė failed to supply roughly 30,000 megawatts, which contributed to the bulk of the problem, Cohan said.
Thank you. Facts matter.

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Old 02-25-2021, 07:48 PM   #127
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Having our electric grid hardened against negative temps in Texas makes about as much sense as requiring air conditioning in every installation in northern Canada. There are several wind turbines on the property where I hunt and most of the time I see and hear large fans dedicated to cooling the equipment vs. heating it. This is likely a once in a generation occurrence. We haven’t had temps this cold in 30 years or more.
Iíll pass your astute assessment on to the family of a friend whose mother died from hypothermia in an assisted living facility in Georgetown, Texas.

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Old 02-25-2021, 07:57 PM   #128
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You have identified the real problem.
Thanks

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Old 02-25-2021, 07:58 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by wilsonintexas View Post
From recent updates part of tne problem was made worse because we in texas are not connected to the national power grid. So we could not tap into power from other regions.

And most of the lost capacity was nuclear and gas/coal

As part of deregulation we have have suppliers budding to supply energy and this has led to slim prophit margins. So they put off upgrades that are not mandated

Tne last time this happened there were recommendations but not mandates.

We never seem to learn
.
Well said and accurate.

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Old 02-25-2021, 08:36 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonintexas View Post
From recent updates part of tne problem was made worse because we in texas are not connected to the national power grid. So we could not tap into power from other regions.

And most of the lost capacity was nuclear and gas/coal

As part of deregulation we have have suppliers budding to supply energy and this has led to slim prophit margins. So they put off upgrades that are not mandated

Tne last time this happened there were recommendations but not mandates.

We never seem to learn
.
Alaska is not connected to any other grid. The difference is, we're prepared for events like this. Be glad you're not on the one or both of the national grids. Because when they go down, at least you'll be alright. Now that all those out-of-state ERCOT board members are gone you can prepare your grid for the next weather calamity.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:49 PM   #131
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Wes - Very interesting read. Thank you
-Russ
You are quite welcome. Thank you for your kind words, Russ. Perhaps you, like me, like a good mystery of how and why things happen.


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Wes, we are still in an ice age. You can't start another until this one is over.
LOL. It's melting fast. I guess I'm worried it might get over too soon and immediately start another ice age in my driveway. I think we were eventually under nearly a mile of ice last time before it finally started to melt. Brrr. Thanks for the reply.

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Old 02-25-2021, 09:28 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Battchief View Post
There are wind generating farms, solar generation, natural gas and nuclear in states that routinely have to deal with temperatures lower than those in Texas and yet they manage to kerp the power on and the water flowing.

Battchief
And right you are. I worked at the state-wide utility for 20 years. My wife put in 45 years, the last half of that she worked in the department that engineered and built the state "power grid".

Our state has the lowest recorded temperature in the lower 48 and several of the records for greatest temperature range and temperature change in 12/24 hours.
https://montanakids.com/facts_and_figures/climate/Temperature_Extremes.htm
We have hydro, coal, natural gas, wind and solar on the grid. It works fairly reliably. We also are tied into the Western States Coordinating Council (WSCC)system that has interties with the other state utilities. They work well to keep the grid up and functioning. The engineering department has a group whose only job is to continue to study and design a system to maintain the reliability during a power event. My job was to manage the computer that they ran their Load Flow models on. It is amazingly complex designs and some unbelievable monitoring. For instance, they had timing sensors on both ends of the 24" shaft that connected the steam turbines (powered by coal) to the generators. They monitored that the shaft wasn't twisting to the extent the shaft would shear off. if the shaft started to twist and they couldn't control the turbine (source of power & thus twisting), they would shut the turbine down. Thus taking hundreds of Megawatts of supply offline. It also took days for the turbine to be brought back online after and event like that.

The utility is carefully monitored by both the WSCC and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and NERC (North American RC).
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:30 PM   #133
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Getting bacK to the practical things we can do. My RV park lost power for most of the week. Wound up moving in with my neighbor (they had a working furnace, I had some extra propane).

We had intermittent power - on for 45 minutes, off for 6 hours. That mostly kept their furnace going, a few times the battery gave out before the power came on long enough to recharge it. There were a few times we had to use the propane stove to get some heat (yeah, I know you're not supposed to do that. But if you spend an hour cooking dinner, no one gets asphyxiated. We didn't sleep with the stove running).

What lessons were learned?

1) Double check things ahead of time. I'd just moved into a used 5th Wheel. Knew I had a furnace problem, but thought replacing the thermostat had fixed it (it's fixed and working now that the insect nests are cleaned out of it). My neighbor thought his onboard generator was working, but it wouldn't start.

2) Even a little heat can help. I left a space heater switched on, so every time the power was on, my RV got a little heat. It still got cold enough to freeze the cat's water dish, but none of the pipes broke. They froze between the kitchen and the bathroom, thawed out with no leaks or breaks. My neighbor has the same model RV. Think she went to stay with family and didn't drain the pipes, had at least one cracked pipe.

3) I should be better prepared next Winter. I'd already planned on installing a second 12 volt battery. This would give me more run time on the furnace and/or a spare battery to loan out. I'd like to get a Honda generator. The Buddy propane heaters are cheap insurance against Winter power failures. Having the fresh water tank full is nice in case of frozen pipes and boil water notices.

4) The single best resource we had in Texas was neighbors who stepped in to help each other out.

All in all, I think the RV may be better equipped to handle power outages than many regular homes. The extreme cold might make them more vulnerable to frozen pipes (though we both kept the faucets running and didn't lose water until it was shut off after the thaw). Neither of us had a real 4 season RV, although we both had reasonably good insulation. The neighbors had their hot water freeze up, my RV had running hot water all through the freeze.
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:33 PM   #134
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Having worked in the power generating industry on and off since the early 1970's I have championed the use of pretty much all the various ways of producing power including thermoelectric where appropriate. I believe there is a need to diversify generation methods and develop better ways to manage distributed generating assets. That said, some methods are more appropriate for base load and some make more sense for peak needs. Combustion technologies and nuclear are the choice for base load as they are the most reliable for being there when needed.

Texas is first in wind generation in the USA with over 30,000 Mw, followed by Iowa at about 10,000 Mw and Oklahoma at about 8,000 Mw.

Globally the largest is China followed by the USA, Germany, India and if it were a country itself Texas would be fifth.

The majority of power generation in Texas is from cogeneration or combined cycle gas turbine plants. They are quickly built, have a small footprint, are depreciated more quickly allowing for faster upgrade as improved technology comes along and are thermally efficient and clean operating using methane and sometimes off gases from industrial processes. During the summer 2020 while wind production dropped in July and August the cogeneration plants ramped up from a yearly low of about 10,000 M Wh to over 17,881 and 17,538 M Wh in July and August 2020 and didn't miss a beat.

The Coal 18% of total generation and two nuclear plants 11% in Texas rocked along at about the same output all year long. They are base load and are not far from large metroplexes. In fact one of the nuclear facilities is partially owned by the cities of Austin and San Antonio. This plant is 41 miles from my home. One of my grandsons actually received his scholarship from that company and he interned there before taking a job elsewhere so he could work closer to his fiancť while she was at the University of Texas Medical School getting her degree as a Registered Nurse.

Why does Texas produce so much power when it doesn't export much to other states? Part of the answer is all the manufacturing and other production and another part is the distances between the wind generation and the customers. There are substantial losses with long distance AC power transmission. That is why the interconnection with other states is through high voltage DC transmission lines that are point to point. You cannot drop a connection to some point along the line with a transformer but you achieve much lower losses despite having to convert AC to DC and then DC to AC.

The over 150 wind farms in Texas have a nameplate capacity of roughly 30,000 Mw but over the last year 2020 delivered an average 7,257 M Wh per month or 24% of the nameplate. Even the best locations globally only have a 40% availability. ERCOT will only schedule (rely upon) 20% of the nameplate of a given wind farm due to the variability of availability of wind.

As for the assertion by the Rice University professor that wind power supplies almost half of Texas power needs during the summer is not borne out according to data from ERCOT on their website. During the months of July and August 2020 the actual wind generation was the lowest during those summer months in 2020. Available winds could be part of the reason or possibly the lower density of hot summer air could also be part of the reason for the lower output.

The argument that Texas decision to have a deregulated power market is the cause of so much misery is mistaken. The reason we have a deregulated market is to allow many participants to contribute to the grid. In regulated markets one of the barriers to entry is lobbying on behalf of the existing suppliers to keep others out. This state like it or not is growing very fast and needs additional generating capacity. A growing market for power is an enticement to build facilities. Unlike many other places folks here are more agreeable to construction of facilities and the jobs that activity creates. The only place I have been to in the past 10 years the had as many high voltage transmission lines being installed is in Western Canada, Alaska, and Texas. States like California and Washington import plenty of power from surrounding states but their grids are outdated and overloaded. They are regulated by the US federal government. Transmission facilities in New York are really outdated. So while many other places endure power issues pretty much year round Texas only exhibits these problems infrequently despite being a rapidly growing market.

As a side note, this past Monday one third of the board of directors of ERCOT submitted their resignations. None of these four people including the Chairperson and Vice Chair were residents of the state. The Chairperson is a promoter of wind generation and lives in Michigan and the Vice Chair was a professor from Cologne Germany.

There are hearings in the state house and senate going on this week to get to the bottom of the statewide power outages. My best guess based on my talking to co workers who had more dealings with ERCOT after I retired in January 2008. ERCOT appears to have morphed from an overseer of the state 345 KV grid into actually controlling many of the generating assets directly. This was not the case when they were created but over time the State Public Utilities Commission which oversees ERCOT has issued rule making giving ERCOT that authority. It maybe makes sense to do this with wind farms which are located in remote places without even a local control room but it makes no sense to do this with cogeneration, coal or nuclear sites which have and require local oversight and control.
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:05 PM   #135
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I'm in Texas. Since I tent camp quite a lot, the 'big freeze' was no biggie. Actually, quite nice in my house rather than a tent. Less work involved. No colder than 63 degrees, and I usually keep it at 65 anyway in the winter.

It may be different when I get older.
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:58 AM   #136
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The wind turbines froze - no electricity
The solar was covered with snow and ice - no electricity.
The gas and coal was there to be used and is the only thing that did keep working although some valves and generators froze but if it wasnít for what gas and coal that did keep what would run running everything would have failed.
We would have probably been okay with what did with a couple of years ago BUT we have had tens of thousands of people move to Texas in the last few years and the electric providers havenít been able to upgrade fast enough to supply that much more power in the kind of storm we had .
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:52 AM   #137
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We probably should wait until a final report on this outage.

Too many people 'know what happened' and at this point, it doesn't seem that even the people who maintain the grid don't really know what happened. They probably need to know that to prevent the same thing happening in the future.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:53 AM   #138
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Texas needs regulations

I hope Texas learns something from this. If they were part of the federal grid, the power failures would have been much less severe.
Cold weather will return, I hope Texas gets its act together before then.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:28 AM   #139
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October 1996...we did without power for 14 days after a early heavy snow while the leaves were still on the trees. Meter sockets and lines TORE right off the houses where limbs came down. We lived on a cooler with Ice....Gas Stove and Kerosene Heater for two weeks.

Side note: the "Rolling Blackouts" that we had to endure last week while power was shunted to the southern grid, destroyed some critical Covid testing that our labs were working on. No advanced notification and our building got shut down for 2 hrs.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:48 AM   #140
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I'm in Quebec and our electricity is almost %100 percent renewable and operates from about -40f to 104f. It's not the green thing that's the problem.
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