Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recent BPA Data

Balancing Authority Total Wind Generation Chart, Last 7 days
Balancing Authority Load and Total Wind Generation Chart, Last 7 days



Who says wind output is better in December than it is during the Summer?

5 comments:

LarryD said...

In case anyone is wondering BPA = Bonneville Power Assoc. I just looked it up myself. Service area is the Pacific Northwest.

These graphs display the reason why wind won't cut it by itself, now if we only had some similar graphs for solar.

Keep in mind that wind is a lot more expensive per MW faceplate capacity than nuclear, and solar even more so.

uvdiv said...

now if we only had some similar graphs for solar.

Here is one

http://www.sunviewer.net/portals/MoCA/

Found by NNadir

donb said...

I live in the Spokane, Washington area. There are a number of electrical cooperatives that get their power from BPA.

Three points:

1. Long stretches (days, to over a week) during the winter with essentially no wind happen almost every year.

2. Those winter days with no wind tend to be colder than normal.

3. Electrical heating is common in the area due to historically low power costs (now quickly vanishing, thanks in part to wind power).

The weather turned cold late in the day on December 6. The affect on electrical load is clearly seen beginning on December 7.

BTW, I have an all-electric house. The heating system is a conventional heat pump. As such, it has been unable to keep up with the full heating demand (running full time since late on Dec. 6 until the afternoon of Dec. 10), and so the resistance supplimental heat has been cycling on and off.

When it comes time to replace the heat pump, I will go with either a ground source system, or a cold climate heat pump that maintains efficiency and output much better at cold temperatures.

spadflyer12 said...

But but but... we can build tons of storage and store the electricity for when the wind isn't blowing....

That is the answer you will get from most wind or solar advocates. The problem is that when you are producing electricity, you have to produce enough to meet both the demand, and enough to store for later. Even then, there is no guarantee that you will have stored enough energy for when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining.

They seem to neglect these facts when arguing that wind and solar are far cheaper than nuclear, which for a small scale use, they are. But when you scale wind and solar up to the same level as a single nuclear power plant you run into huge costs because of capacity factor, storage, and back up generation requirements.

Another interesting article here:
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/energy/24519/

LarryD said...

The EIA levelized cost comparison shows wind and solar are more expensive than nuclear even before capacity factor, storage, and back up generation are added in.

You can do wind and solar on a much smaller scale than nuclear, is all.

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