DR

Texans forced to have rolling black outs. Not from downed power line , but because the wind energy turbines are frozen.

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1 hour ago, turbguy said:

Actually, I do not believe the "grid" has been "designed" at all.

ERCOT's construct has been reactionarly built.   As permitted and constrained by political decisions by people in power.

I could agree that some of those decisions are suspect...

That said, What happened with thermal generation??   The answer(s) is known.  People in power may not want it to be known.  It WILL become known.  They cannot stop it.

Dude, asked and answered. Thermal generation from Gas went off because the fuel became unavailable. First idea was the valves froze, other ideas were that clathrates and Joule Thomson effects froze inside the pipes, third idea was that compressors needed throughout the system were suddenly denied power by the same blunt force methods ERCOT was using to stabilize the entire grid. When you blindly shed gigawatts of load, you're entirely likely to accidentally shut it off to things you shouldn't have. My bet is door number three. Without the compressors, native pressure with wide open valves "attempted" to push that methane through the system. There simply isn't enough pressure and just try holding your wife's hair spray can full open and let me know how cold your hand gets (and frigid the wife gets) after your experiment. 

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For over the 56 pages of this thread, it seems a lot of people have learned a great deal about this energy universe, focusing on the nuts and bolts of production, transmission and management (ERCOT).

Hang on, everyone, cuz Phase II has just begun with the San Antonio-owned utility - CPS Energy - seeking urgent judicial relief by preventing ERCOT from declaring CPS in default for not paying their electric bill.

Credit rating agencies Fitch, Moody's, and S&P are about to downgrade CPS' credit rating which will immediately impact (lower) the value of its debt.

 

With the attention having been placed upon ERCOT's physical role in grid management, its FINANCIAL role is about to explode upon the public stage.

ERCOT sets the rates -  day ahead/spot -  that the generators will be paid, measured in Megawatthours and sliced into 5 minute 'chunks'.

They then turn around and charge the buying customers - almost always utilities  - this wholesale cost of the generated electricity.

From reading, it seems like the purchasing customers (utilities) have 4 days to pay the bills to ERCOT who distributes the money to the product providers (power plants).

Somewhat oversimplification, but essentially accurate.

 

Well, now lottsa customers will have a hard time covering the total bill that is described as ~$50 billion for this stretch of turmoil.

The money people and lawyers will be now be entering the arena and TONS of eye glazing detail will arise (certain to be 'spun' into various narratives to satiate political/ideological preferences).

The coming weeks will enhance our collective education regarding what went awry, how, when, at what cost, ... aaanndd (drum roll here) just who is gonna pay for it.

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(edited)

38 minutes ago, Ward Smith said:

Dude, asked and answered. Thermal generation from Gas went off because the fuel became unavailable. First idea was the valves froze, other ideas were that clathrates and Joule Thomson effects froze inside the pipes, third idea was that compressors needed throughout the system were suddenly denied power by the same blunt force methods ERCOT was using to stabilize the entire grid. When you blindly shed gigawatts of load, you're entirely likely to accidentally shut it off to things you shouldn't have. My bet is door number three. Without the compressors, native pressure with wide open valves "attempted" to push that methane through the system. There simply isn't enough pressure and just try holding your wife's hair spray can full open and let me know how cold your hand gets (and frigid the wife gets) after your experiment. 

Those are theories, or opinions.  They could indeed be correct root causes.  Considering you need to admit nat gas into CT's well above the compressor discharge pressure (P2), door #3 holds some potential truth.

I'll wait for the answer(s).

Then, we will see what Texas does about them.

Hopefully, the Texas RR Commission talks with ERCOT seriously.

Edited by turbguy
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17 minutes ago, Coffeeguyzz said:

For over the 56 pages of this thread, it seems a lot of people have learned a great deal about this energy universe, focusing on the nuts and bolts of production, transmission and management (ERCOT).

Hang on, everyone, cuz Phase II has just begun with the San Antonio-owned utility - CPS Energy - seeking urgent judicial relief by preventing ERCOT from declaring CPS in default for not paying their electric bill.

Credit rating agencies Fitch, Moody's, and S&P are about to downgrade CPS' credit rating which will immediately impact (lower) the value of its debt.

 

With the attention having been placed upon ERCOT's physical role in grid management, its FINANCIAL role is about to explode upon the public stage.

ERCOT sets the rates -  day ahead/spot -  that the generators will be paid, measured in Megawatthours and sliced into 5 minute 'chunks'.

They then turn around and charge the buying customers - almost always utilities  - this wholesale cost of the generated electricity.

From reading, it seems like the purchasing customers (utilities) have 4 days to pay the bills to ERCOT who distributes the money to the product providers (power plants).

Somewhat oversimplification, but essentially accurate.

 

Well, now lottsa customers will have a hard time covering the total bill that is described as ~$50 billion for this stretch of turmoil.

The money people and lawyers will be now be entering the arena and TONS of eye glazing detail will arise (certain to be 'spun' into various narratives to satiate political/ideological preferences).

The coming weeks will enhance our collective education regarding what went awry, how, when, at what cost, ... aaanndd (drum roll here) just who is gonna pay for it.

Perhaps Uncle Biden's covid bailout will come into play,it would seem Wall St. has its bases covered. Will Tx turn Blue or see Red?

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7 minutes ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

Perhaps Uncle Biden's covid bailout will come into play,it would seem Wall St. has its bases covered. Will Tx turn Blue or see Red?

Perhaps some Reddit users need to start buying Texas Utility companies to put a wrench in Wall Street's "plan"?

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27 minutes ago, Coffeeguyzz said:

For over the 56 pages of this thread, it seems a lot of people have learned a great deal about this energy universe, focusing on the nuts and bolts of production, transmission and management (ERCOT).

Hang on, everyone, cuz Phase II has just begun with the San Antonio-owned utility - CPS Energy - seeking urgent judicial relief by preventing ERCOT from declaring CPS in default for not paying their electric bill.

Credit rating agencies Fitch, Moody's, and S&P are about to downgrade CPS' credit rating which will immediately impact (lower) the value of its debt.

 

With the attention having been placed upon ERCOT's physical role in grid management, its FINANCIAL role is about to explode upon the public stage.

ERCOT sets the rates -  day ahead/spot -  that the generators will be paid, measured in Megawatthours and sliced into 5 minute 'chunks'.

They then turn around and charge the buying customers - almost always utilities  - this wholesale cost of the generated electricity.

From reading, it seems like the purchasing customers (utilities) have 4 days to pay the bills to ERCOT who distributes the money to the product providers (power plants).

Somewhat oversimplification, but essentially accurate.

 

Well, now lottsa customers will have a hard time covering the total bill that is described as ~$50 billion for this stretch of turmoil.

The money people and lawyers will be now be entering the arena and TONS of eye glazing detail will arise (certain to be 'spun' into various narratives to satiate political/ideological preferences).

The coming weeks will enhance our collective education regarding what went awry, how, when, at what cost, ... aaanndd (drum roll here) just who is gonna pay for it.

By chance do you recall the environmental community investments being made into the oil industry? It was a laughable moment, this time it may not be so laughable...the TX governor spent little time cleaning the decks...law suits be dammed set the sails.

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Quick follow up on this crucial question surrounding the big drop off in natgas-fueled electricity generation ...

While the freeze offs/clathrate issues certainly played a role, and the uncertainty about the status of the line compressors has not been published yet (to my knowledge), little mention has been made about the extraordinary draw placed upon the gas transmission systems needed to heat the millions of Texans' homes during this bitter cold.

Combining electrically heated homes (60%?) with the natgas heated homes (35%?), the call on natgas was simply extraordinary in the early AM hours on that frigid Monday.

As minimal line pressure is required to prevent immediate safety valve shut downs (akin to a power plant 'tripping'), it would not be surprising if many gas-fueled power plants were starved of fuel due to low line pressure shut offs which - themselves - were brought about by the massive draw upon the system.

 

We should have all these unknowns answered in the coming weeks.

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9 minutes ago, turbguy said:

Perhaps some Reddit users need to start buying Texas Utility companies to put a wrench in Wall Street's "plan"?

Turbguy...such commodities are restricted to the few, Warren Buffet venture into BNSF was restricted...Power in Hands of a Few. That is a old Saleen commercial, the CCP took him to school on such things.

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(edited)

4 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

When I said the wind was "unreliable," I was merely picking up on Mr. Clemmensen's quote above. Here, I'll repeat it . . .

Now, I do not personally know Mr. Clemmensen. He sounds confident in his knowledge, but to be fair, he may or may not be a reliable analysis of wind conditions in Texas, or of the wind in general for that matter. To me, though, his comment makes it sound like the wind is pretty damn unreliable. In fact, I took it as a given.

It would seem that you also have a good relationship with the wind. And since both you and Mr. Clemmensen seem intent on making some sort of point about the wind, perhaps the two of you should conference on the appropriate way to address Queen Wind in a non-inflammatory, politically-correct manner. Once we're all sure of the exact terminology, I'm sure all of us hayseeds will fall in line. For example, do we say "winds," or "windx?"

I've actually spent a lot of time in the Wind River area. The wind blows, just as the name suggests. But I think it blows more over near Casper. Whatever, the wind is so reliable that the state has long been ranked as the #1 windiest state in the Union. In fact, Wyoming is a lot windier than Texas. Despite this dichotomy, Texas has polluted its landscape with some 13,000+ wind turbines, of which ~60% froze up during the storm. That's bad enough but as Mr. Clemmensen is fond of pointing out, the wind "cannot be depended on." I took his statement to refer to just about any wind, but maybe he was talking about the Texas wind, and perhaps only in the winter. 

But in Wyoming, where you say you live, the wind is quite reliable in the winter: 30-40 knots most all winter long with gusts up to 50-60. Despite this, the state of Wyoming harvests only 10% of its energy from wind and 90% from coal-fired utility plants, while Texas, with its quasi-reliable wind and 13,000 wind turbines harvests 25% of its energy from wind and a whopping 46% from natural-gas-fired utility plants. 

That just seems so wrong, doesn't it?

We could argue how "reliable" the wind is until the cows come home, but let's just agree that both Wyoming and Texas have ample wind--some of the time, but not all of the time, and even then it is, as you say, "less reliable than thermal generation." But then we get back to your original statement, "the wind is not unreliable." I swear to God, I've gone over and over this and I cannot for the life of me figure it out. Not-so-nice, which is an apt moniker for the nasty little sucker, suggested that I was slow. And he may be right. 

Otherwise I'm sure I'd be able to understand how the state of Wyoming, the windiest state in the Union, develops 10% of its energy from wind but its leading wind expert is pretty sure the state of Texas, which develops 25% of its energy from wind, somehow screwed up because it hadn't taken lessons from northern states, and is also adamant that "if the wind generation if there, you don't need to burn so much stuff." 

Oh, and I see that you have repeated yourself once again during the time that I have been furiously whacking at the keyboard: "Since wind 'wasn't there,' what happened to the thermal sources?" My, my. I'm not sure how I can help you. I devoted a long diatribe to just this topic up above somewhere. Others have pitched in, too, trying to ease my burden.

Hell, I don't know what happened to the "thermal sources," but if I had to guess, I'd say the wind likely blew them away. 

  

Where wind has been built vs average wind speed:

https://emp.lbl.gov/levelized-cost-wind-energy

Wyoming does have a lot of wind, but it also takes capital, which requires a number of different factors. It looks like the last major wind projects were in Wyoming in about 2010, and some in 2016.

Purchase power agreements vs natural gas (the black line). These are usually 5-20+ year long contracts. These don't include financial PPAs because they travel across state lines more easily than electrons.

https://emp.lbl.gov/wind-power-purchase-agreement-ppa-prices

Price $ per kw/h:

https://emp.lbl.gov/wind-energy-capital-expenditures-capex

Texas is amongst the cheapest to procure renewables in the country, but things have fallen pretty much everywhere, in some areas of the country, there is a reduction by about a third in the last decade.

Lazard's cost breakdowns with sensitivities to subsidies, fuel prices and decarbonization:

https://www.lazard.com/media/451086/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-version-130-vf.pdf

I assume this next decade will add a lot of bidirectional storage (batteries) due to electrification of cars and the reduction of prices in utility scale storage - that's synergistic with both solar and wind. I think "all of the above" are needed except for coal. 

What would be a good way to use all of the excess energy, for example, the sunk costs of hydrocarbon infrastructure? Well, I think we're going to need a lot of batteries, where the manufacturing process is a  *very* energy intensive process, but the growth rate is expected to stay exponential. China already has 90+ "gigafactories", in conditions that are questionable environmentally, though they recently opened up a carbon market for all of their power plants. Personally, I think there will be substitution of coal/oil for the cleaner NG. 

Edited by surrept33

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11 minutes ago, surrept33 said:

Where wind has been built vs average wind speed:

https://emp.lbl.gov/levelized-cost-wind-energy

Wyoming does have a lot of wind, but it also takes capital, which requires a number of different factors. It looks like the last major wind projects were in Wyoming were about 2010, and some in 2016.

Purchase power agreements vs natural gas (the black line). These are usually 5-20+ year long contracts. These don't include financial PPAs because they travel across state lines more easily than electrons.

https://emp.lbl.gov/wind-power-purchase-agreement-ppa-prices

Price $/kw/h:

https://emp.lbl.gov/wind-energy-capital-expenditures-capex

Texas is amongst the cheapest to procure renewables in the country, but things have fallen pretty much everywhere, in some areas of the country, there is a reduction by about a third in the last decade.

Lazard's cost breakdowns with sensitivities to subsidies, fuel prices and decarbonization:

https://www.lazard.com/media/451086/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-version-130-vf.pdf

I assume this next decade will add a lot of bidirectional storage (batteries) due to electrification of cars and the reduction of prices in utility scale storage - that's synergistic with both solar and wind. I think "all of the above" are needed except for coal. 

What would be a good way to use all of the excess energy, for example, the sunk costs of hydrocarbon infrastructure? Well, I think we're going to need a lot of batteries, where the manufacturing process is a  *very* energy intensive process, but the growth rate is expected to stay exponential. China already has 90+ "gigafactories", in conditions that are questionable environmentally, though they recently opened up a carbon market for all of their power plants. Personally, I think there will be substitution of coal/oil for the cleaner NG. 

One thought to the progressive "Green Plan"...up in smoke...come to mind.

 

2gwe2n.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ward Smith said:

 Thermal generation from Gas went off 

Holy crap!  Ward understood something. 

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(edited)

12 minutes ago, Symmetry said:

Holy crap!  Ward understood something. 

Ward ain't dumb! 

I don't know his exposure to large power generation, transmission, and distribution.  I just know my own.

I had to revisit my old physics lessions on transmission theory.  I just remember what a chore it was to charge a long transmission line, particularly if there's a transformer at the far end.   Sometimes, it just can't be done!

I know that he can be "playful" in his comments, but that's part of the fun on this forum, no?

I feel all of his comments do have value.

Sometimes you may have to read them twice, but it's there.

Edited by turbguy
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31 minutes ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

One thought to the progressive "Green Plan"...up in smoke...come to mind.

 

2gwe2n.jpg

The Wyoming Legislature is considering a bill to legalize.

https://www.wyomingnews.com/news/local_news/marijuana-legalization-bill-gains-committee-approval-heads-to-the-house-floor-for-debate/article_3814be7e-618b-534d-a01d-bf0e675f4668.html

Will wonders never cease?

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8 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

Okay, let me see if I have this right: The wind is unreliable, but it can save on gas (which the state is flaring to the tune of $3M/day). To save on gas, and to support this unreliable wind source, the Great State of Texas is supposed to have dozens of natural gas utility plants that cost hundreds of billions sitting idle, waiting for when the wind stops blowing. 

And you're still stuck on "those blackouts were caused primarily by freeze-offs of the NG supply and secondarily by NG failures to winterize."

Holy Mother of God!

Sorry, but Texas demonstrably does NOT have usable gas that can be delivered to the gas-fired generators. If Texas had the capacity to use that gas, the gas would have been processed and transported to Louisiana to be converted to LNG to sell to Europe at a tidy profit. If Texas could process and transport that gas to its own generators at a low enough price, the generators would out-compete wind and solar in Texas' electricity market.

No, Texas should not "support this unreliable resource" with idle gas-fired generators. Texas should support its electricity consumers by providing reliable gas-fired generators, and should support those generators by providing a reliable supply of processed NG. It failed to do either of these things.  Using today's technology, Texas needs that gas and those generators approximately once per decade to provide reliable electricity, whether or not some or all of them are sitting idle the rest of the time. You already pay for them to sit idle in the spring and fall when the demand goes down. The problem is that Texas' market structure does not have a way to pay for what Texas needs. The solution is to make appropriate changes to the market structure.

Consider an alternate reality in which no wind turbans (or solar) had ever been installed in Texas, but the ERCOT price market was in place. There is no reason to believe that during this weather event there would not have been the same catastrophic freeze-off, or that the gas-fired generators would have been winterized. The competitive price market would have exerted the same pressure to avoid "unnecessary" expenses like winterization and reserve capacity.

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(edited)

16 minutes ago, turbguy said:

Ward ain't dumb! 

I don't know his exposure to large power generation, transmission, and distribution.  I just know my own.

I had to revisit my old physics lessions on transmission theory.  I just remember what a chore it was to charge a long transmission line, particularly if there's a transformer at the far end.   Sometimes, it just can't be done!

I know that he can be "playful" in his comments, but that's part of the fun on this forum, no?

I feel all of his comments do have value.

Sometimes you may have to read them twice, but it's there.

Indeed Mr. Ward does use fundamentals, some may see them boring. But only those that lack the insight to see the next step forward. Just saying...LMAO. Stumbling over dollars to pick dimes comes to mind for the masses. Now to a very few a outright rape does enter into the conversation.

One might ask Cuomo about such things.

Edited by Eyes Wide Open
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1 hour ago, surrept33 said:

Where wind has been built vs average wind speed:

https://emp.lbl.gov/levelized-cost-wind-energy

Wyoming does have a lot of wind, but it also takes capital, which requires a number of different factors. It looks like the last major wind projects were in Wyoming in about 2010, and some in 2016.

Purchase power agreements vs natural gas (the black line). These are usually 5-20+ year long contracts. These don't include financial PPAs because they travel across state lines more easily than electrons.

https://emp.lbl.gov/wind-power-purchase-agreement-ppa-prices

Price $ per kw/h:

https://emp.lbl.gov/wind-energy-capital-expenditures-capex

Texas is amongst the cheapest to procure renewables in the country, but things have fallen pretty much everywhere, in some areas of the country, there is a reduction by about a third in the last decade.

Lazard's cost breakdowns with sensitivities to subsidies, fuel prices and decarbonization:

https://www.lazard.com/media/451086/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-version-130-vf.pdf

I assume this next decade will add a lot of bidirectional storage (batteries) due to electrification of cars and the reduction of prices in utility scale storage - that's synergistic with both solar and wind. I think "all of the above" are needed except for coal. 

What would be a good way to use all of the excess energy, for example, the sunk costs of hydrocarbon infrastructure? Well, I think we're going to need a lot of batteries, where the manufacturing process is a  *very* energy intensive process, but the growth rate is expected to stay exponential. China already has 90+ "gigafactories", in conditions that are questionable environmentally, though they recently opened up a carbon market for all of their power plants. Personally, I think there will be substitution of coal/oil for the cleaner NG. 

Perhaps Texas can sell LNG to China!

...and embed the product with Mr. Gates' microchips!

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1 minute ago, turbguy said:

Perhaps Texas can sell LNG to China!

...and embed the product with Mr. Gates' microchips!

Actually Gates did walk into this TX debacle, i personally found that extroidinary. The world biggest geek shoring up a chit show of this proportion. But then again like him or not he is a very cold and calculating business guy..make no mistakes there. Absolutely none.

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21 hours ago, Ward Smith said:

How much better? Based on "SWAG's" from the AGW religionists, Texas should never have seen single digit temperatures. Didn't Texas get the memo? The whole world has a fever! That is, until you look closely and discover they've been lying, cooking the books, hiding data and censoring dissent. We shouldn't be surprised they used the exact same techniques this election, they've been getting away with it so long. 

Then we get to "reliability". I'm paying double what my power used to cost to compensate for the unreliability injected into the system from wind power in Washington State. Even though the state got 80% of its power from hydro, that wasn't considered "renewable". Places like Quebec pay 5 times what they used to for the exact same reason. This has nothing to do with reliability, this is just a secret tax on the rubes and it impacts the poor most of all. Congrats feel good greenies, you've done it again. 

This is the crux of the matter. Electricity consumers are fleeced so as to serve the posturing of the Greens. It can be done by stealth and the consumer cannot hit back. In the UK we had Green tax increases on oil products,which would seem to be a rational approach to increase energy efficiency e.g. by the use of hybrid vehicles. The tax increases produced fury and lorry driver action caused paralysis on our crowded roads. Tony Blair and his detested spin doctor caved in within a few days. No increase in fuel duty has happened since.

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13 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

Sorry, but Texas demonstrably does NOT have usable gas that can be delivered to the gas-fired generators. If Texas had the capacity to use that gas, the gas would have been processed and transported to Louisiana to be converted to LNG to sell to Europe at a tidy profit. If Texas could process and transport that gas to its own generators at a low enough price, the generators would out-compete wind and solar in Texas' electricity market.

No, Texas should not "support this unreliable resource" with idle gas-fired generators. Texas should support its electricity consumers by providing reliable gas-fired generators, and should support those generators by providing a reliable supply of processed NG. It failed to do either of these things.  Using today's technology, Texas needs that gas and those generators approximately once per decade to provide reliable electricity, whether or not some or all of them are sitting idle the rest of the time. You already pay for them to sit idle in the spring and fall when the demand goes down. The problem is that Texas' market structure does not have a way to pay for what Texas needs. The solution is to make appropriate changes to the market structure.

Consider an alternate reality in which no wind turbans (or solar) had ever been installed in Texas, but the ERCOT price market was in place. There is no reason to believe that during this weather event there would not have been the same catastrophic freeze-off, or that the gas-fired generators would have been winterized. The competitive price market would have exerted the same pressure to avoid "unnecessary" expenses like winterization and reserve capacity.

That's the rub Dan. Have you ever heard of Texas Hold Em? Since there is no capacity market in Texas, you do not "pay for them to sit idle in the spring and fall". The Texas gamblers use the "promise" of $9000/mwh rates to compensate themselves for these once in a blue moon events, going "all in" to make hay while the sun shines (or doesn't as the case may be). Given that you spend upwards of half a billion dollars to build a 500mw peaker CCGT plant that's a lot of risk capital sitting there waiting for your "once a decade" event. 

In a capacity market, as I've described previously, the ratepayers all get to take it up the wazoo for that decade with excessively high prices to guarantee those plant builders their revenue, whether they produce a single watt. Obviously Wall Street loves capacity markets, and @Coffeeguyzz is most definitely onto something when he opined that we should "follow the money". Not all actors in this debacle were altruistic in their behavior. Think Enron and "Death Star". 

@turbguy wonders if I'm in the "business" somehow. I'm not, but I've got a wide enough foundation that I understand all the principles involved, electronic, physics and economic. My friend was a SVP for a large utility that was the counterparty in a lot of Enron trades when Enron was playing cowboy with the entire energy market. He got chastised by the SEC because he was smart enough to figure out what Enron was up to, and when everything imploded and the SEC got egg on their face, they tried to blame him for not notifying them. These are of course the exact same geniuses who miserably failed to follow up on decades of complaints about Madoff, but what do you expect from bunglecrats? They sit around doing nothing for years and then when disaster strikes, they use all the awesome power of the federal government to try and setup a fall guy to take their blame. And now you understand why I have such a low opinion of government employees.  

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5 minutes ago, Ward Smith said:

That's the rub Dan. Have you ever heard of Texas Hold Em? Since there is no capacity market in Texas, you do not "pay for them to sit idle in the spring and fall". The Texas gamblers use the "promise" of $9000/mwh rates to compensate themselves for these once in a blue moon events, going "all in" to make hay while the sun shines (or doesn't as the case may be). Given that you spend upwards of half a billion dollars to build a 500mw peaker CCGT plant that's a lot of risk capital sitting there waiting for your "once a decade" event. 

In a capacity market, as I've described previously, the ratepayers all get to take it up the wazoo for that decade with excessively high prices to guarantee those plant builders their revenue, whether they produce a single watt. Obviously Wall Street loves capacity markets, and @Coffeeguyzz is most definitely onto something when he opined that we should "follow the money". Not all actors in this debacle were altruistic in their behavior. Think Enron and "Death Star".

We are again in violent agreement: If you want a reliable electrical system that will work even during a once-a-decade extreme weather event, then you must figure out a way to pay for it.

Yes, the current system chooses to pay for the spring and fall idle capacity by gambling. As you say, that's Texas.  Texas also chose to (not) pay for winterization by gambling. They lost.

Capital markets are not altruistic and never have been except in libertarian fantasies. As in just about every aspect of our (or any) society, there are bad guys, and we need cops to find them and mitigate the damage. This is true of the Boy Scouts, the Catholic priesthood, and the capital markets.  In my opinion, free markets are the most effective system humanity has ever had for resource allocation, but they are not even close to being perfect.

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@Dan Clemmensen I much prefer violent agreement to the other kinds. 😎

I believe I posted This link weeks ago here. Or someone else here did, I'm not trying very hard to remember. It's still an excellent read, well researched and the comments below the article are interesting as well. There's a lot of misinformation out there about power. I explained before about Genco's, Transco's, Disco's, Marko's and Mono's. All (but Mono's) products of deregulation and opportunities to make big bucks out of old, staid businesses that reliably produced power at a cheap, fair price and reliably gave a boring but extremely safe return to shareholders often referred to as "widows and orphans". 

The money mavens at McKinsey just knew they could shake that old business up, and they sure did. We've inherited their mess while they've moved into 20,000 sqft mansions, with whole house backup generators. Such is life. 

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Mr. Smith,

That is an excellent re-linking of the "Electricity Markets 101" article from Zerohedge.

While it may seem a bit cumbersome, it nevertheless (somewhat) succinctly describes this exceedingly multi-faceted power situation in a clear fashion.

 

The final paragraph highlights many of the current tensions as Renewable (sic) power sources have continuously  been treated with 'out of market' protocols that are dramatically increasing year by year.

To say this tends to destabilize the reliability of power systems SHOULD be blatantly obvious, but - as can be seen throughout this thread, in much of the MSM 'reporting', and in the general perception of the public -  Ra and Zephyr are the unquestioned future of electricity generation.

 

However, one need only look at situations such as the Drax gas plant buildout halt in the UK, (with looming coal plant shutdowns likely), the Calon gas plants bankruptcy, linked to the record high recent capacity market auction to see how all this is connected.

Once dependency upon intermittent power sources cross the 20% threshold, wild gyrations in pricing/operations/consumption (voluntary curtailment) ALWAYS emerge ... and continue to escalate as that percentage of intermittency increases.

 

While I hope that the fundamental shortfalls in Texas are identified and corrected, I have come to believe  that other areas -  New England, the UK, California, possibly Australia - will need to experience  the crucible of hardship via electricity deprivation (along with high cost) before those people will vigorously engage in this learning process and wisely choose optimum pathways going forward.

 

Perhaps, Mr. Ward, the Great State of Texas will lead the way.

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4 hours ago, Coffeeguyzz said:

To say this tends to destabilize the reliability of power systems SHOULD be blatantly obvious, but - as can be seen throughout this thread, in much of the MSM 'reporting', and in the general perception of the public -  Ra and Zephyr are the unquestioned future of electricity generation.

Okay, I give up. Who are Ra and Zephyr?

I figure Beavis and Butthead at the control panels of wind and solar, but maybe I'm "projecting"--my pandemic therapist says I have a habit of that. 

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

Okay, I give up. Who are Ra and Zephyr?

I figure Beavis and Butthead at the control panels of wind and solar, but maybe I'm "projecting"--my pandemic therapist says I have a habit of that. 

I think he is referring to the Egyptian Sun God, and the Wind. 

Renewables are an Idea who's Time Has Come.   Nothing is more powerful (or more challenging).

The flavor of this thread makes me feel that some here forgot we have entered the Age of Aquarius (depending on which astrologer you follow). 

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!

Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!

Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,

But when you return, it's the same old place,

The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace,

You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace,

Hate your next door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace,

And you tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend,

You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

No, no, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

COAL WILL RISE AGAIN!

Edited by turbguy
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Mr. Maddoux 

Ra being the Egyptian Sun god, and Zephyr the Greek west wind, I frequently use those terms  -  in partially tongue in cheek fashion - to refer to Solar and Wind sourced electricity generation.

The near animistic embrace of these methods by so many their advocates makes the semi reverential  context of the terms especially 'tweaking' as so many Ra/Zephyr boosters seem to recoil from anything remotely connected with what might be considered a spiritual tone.

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