LA Solar Power/Storage Contract

On 7/2/2019 at 2:54 PM, Meredith Poor said:

Strictly speaking, this hasn't happened yet since the agency hasn't signed the contract. To the extent that these numbers are correct, welcome to the new world.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/07/01/new-solar--battery-price-crushes-fossil-fuels-buries-nuclear/#4bacbb535971

The mayor of Los Angeles decided to not put any more money into natural gas. He thinks renewables are the way to go. He is acting against his energy advisors. I am wondering if big money is changing hands. Greater Los Angeles already has rolling planned blackouts at times. 

I only believe in proven technologies. I would love solar to actually work out as this article forecasts but don't believe it. I think it will bring higher costs to Southern California and anyone else who tries it. 

 

On 7/2/2019 at 2:54 PM, Meredith Poor said:

Strictly speaking, this hasn't happened yet since the agency hasn't signed the contract. To the extent that these numbers are correct, welcome to the new world.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/07/01/new-solar--battery-price-crushes-fossil-fuels-buries-nuclear/#4bacbb535971

 

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On 7/6/2019 at 10:08 PM, NickW said:

Did you even bother to read the 'causes'?

We studied this incident thouroughly when I began working the offshore rigs back in the mid-1980's.

The control 

4 hours ago, Enthalpic said:

Yes, I include shipping it because of its hazardous properties (flammability, toxicity).

 If a rail car full of ammonia or pesticide blows up that is only being moved because a farmer ordered it - why not attribute at least some of the damage to the agriculture industry?

Weird stuff happens; imagine dying under a wave of molasses! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Molasses_Flood

 

Let's say that you call a reputable electrician to fix a wiring issue in your home. He/she gets it wrong, there is a spark and your house burns to the ground.

Would you tell the insurance company that you would accept a portion of the blame because the electrician would not have been there unless you had called him/her?

If a farmer orders a tank car full of ammonia (as per your example), he does not own it until he takes possession. It is expected that the railroad will transport the ammonia in a safe and efficient manner as they are the experts in the field of rail transportation.

If you would run over and kill a pedestrian on the way to pick up your child from school, should they charge your child with vehicular homicide as well? According to your logic, you would not have been in your vehicle, on the road, if it were not for your child.

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Did you even bother to read the 'causes'?

We studied this incident thouroughly when I began working the offshore rigs back in the mid-1980's.

The control 

Let's say that you call a reputable electrician to fix a wiring issue in your home. He/she gets it wrong, there is a spark and your house burns to the ground.

Would you tell the insurance company that you would accept a portion of the blame because the electrician would not have been there unless you had called him/her?

If a farmer orders a tank car full of ammonia (as per your example), he does not own it until he takes possession. It is expected that the railroad will transport the ammonia in a safe and efficient manner as they are the experts in the field of rail transportation.

If you would run over and kill a pedestrian on the way to pick up your child from school, should they charge your child with vehicular homicide as well? According to your logic, you would not have been in your vehicle, on the road, if it were not for your child.

I accept that transportation is a blurred area; and the transport company assumes the risk during the actual transport (for the most part).

Still, to repeat myself if the product didn't need to be moved at all there would be zero risk.  Secondly, accidents occur during loading and unloading - who is to blame there?

I worked a file years ago where two full rail cars of chemicals were spilled during transfer from rail to a refinery.

It's not so much I blame individual people or corporations - it's the industry as a whole that has an environmental "cost of doing business."

Edited by Enthalpic

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You must live in a Utopian world where all goods and services are readily accessible at any location, at any time. For the rest of us, logistics and supply chain efficiency is crucial to our businesses or industries.

In the new, Green marketplace, EVERYTHING has an environmental cost of doing business.

In an earlier, non-related post you mentioned using wood to BBQ. This would have been a good 'green' idea say 300 years ago when there were 1 billion people on the planet, but the population is approaching 8 billion can you imagine the deforestation if we revert to using wood for cooking?

If two rail cars spill due to human error, how can you blame the industry? This reeks of not holding people responsible for their actions.

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(edited)

26 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

You must live in a Utopian world where all goods and services are readily accessible at any location, at any time. For the rest of us, logistics and supply chain efficiency is crucial to our businesses or industries.

In the new, Green marketplace, EVERYTHING has an environmental cost of doing business.

In an earlier, non-related post you mentioned using wood to BBQ. This would have been a good 'green' idea say 300 years ago when there were 1 billion people on the planet, but the population is approaching 8 billion can you imagine the deforestation if we revert to using wood for cooking?

If two rail cars spill due to human error, how can you blame the industry? This reeks of not holding people responsible for their actions.

Sigh, just because I recognize and point out downsides doesn't mean I don't understand the value. Maybe I did investigations for a living too long.

Wood charcoal is tasty for grilling... but of course I don't think we should do all cooking with that. The "renewable" remark was in jest.

The industry - like government - is a collection of people and their actions. To error is human.

Edited by Enthalpic

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All true.

As long as humans are involved in any endeavor, and I hope that they always are, there is the risk of human error and accidents.

To assume robotics and artificial intelligence will eradicate errors and accidents is silly....they are a product of human 'intelligence' and programming and as such, can suffer as well.

A robot can perform a function quicker and longer than a human....they can also perform a flawed function quicker and more efficiently than any human.

Many HSE gurus claim that there is no such thing as an accident. I disagree. If the operation is FULLY understood and EVERY parameter relevant to a design is understood prior to finalizing a design or operation, accidents should not occur. But the fact is that even though the best engineering practices are used and best practices employed, nobody has a crystal ball and can foresee every possible problem which may be encountered. This is why it is a good practice to never by a new product when it is introduced to the market. Wait until the 'bugs' are worked out.

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12 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

The Nevada (nuclear) test site (just northwest of Las Vegas) is about 80 miles by 80 miles, or 6400 square miles. This is the surface area required to power the whole country with solar at 20% conversion efficiency. One doesn't have to look far to see 'four square miles' covered by farmland. Covering 4 square miles of desert would appear to be incidental in comparison.

Solar covers 'surface area'. Storage consumes 'volume'. If one assumes that the greater LA area is roughly 18 million people, this would be roughly 7.5 million households. Were one to assume 30Kwh of storage for each household, one would need  225,000,000 Kwh per day for the households. Using LiFePO4 at 120 watt-hours per liter, the volume is 1,875,000,000 liters. There are one thousand liters in cubic meter (10 x 10 x 10), so this translates to 1,875,000 cubic meters. If a 'battery bank were 10 meters (30 feet) high, then it's footprint would be 187,500 square meters. The square root of 187,500 is 13,693, so one side of this bank would be roughly 13.4 kilometers or 8.2 miles on a side.

While this looks like a lot, it's still tiny compared to the real estate torn up by coal mines (sometimes 60 miles in extent) or the tank farms one finds in places like the Henry or Cushing hubs. Since most power plants are more than 30 feet high, battery storage could well occupy higher buildings with more compact footprints.

I suspect that lithium would not be an economical storage resource at that scale - perhaps salt water or sodium ion batteries would make more sense.

Australia is building a large "pumped hydro" scheme. For about $10 billion, it will have equivalent storage of 1800X the 100MW Li battery in South Australia that cost $300m. That is $540 Billion worth of Li storage for just $10 Billion! Think about it. California ideal place for similar setup. At least, it will be once it actually has surplus renewable energy at certain hours of the day.

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2 hours ago, Wombat said:

Australia is building a large "pumped hydro" scheme. For about $10 billion, it will have equivalent storage of 1800X the 100MW Li battery in South Australia that cost $300m. That is $540 Billion worth of Li storage for just $10 Billion! Think about it. California ideal place for similar setup. At least, it will be once it actually has surplus renewable energy at certain hours of the day.

California is probably the worst place on the planet to attempt ANY business endeavor! Increasing taxes, earthquakes, wild fires and rampant stupidity.

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On 7/7/2019 at 3:59 AM, Douglas Buckland said:

YOU couldn't name one but had to look it up...

True. I looked it up because I knew what I was looking for. 

I could have said : "we build O&G installations in hurricane alley in the US GoM as well". I was just trying to make the point that the O&G industry found a way to cope with natures wims and accept some damage. Why should renewables be different? 

O&G is not going away just because renewables are getting cheaper. 

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You actually build O&G installations (drilling and production) where the oil is located. Refineries need to have ship access and be close to where the pipelines come ashore. Not alot of options.

I would think that solar and wind generating plants would have more options.

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4 hours ago, Wombat said:

Australia is building a large "pumped hydro" scheme. For about $10 billion, it will have equivalent storage of 1800X the 100MW Li battery in South Australia that cost $300m. That is $540 Billion worth of Li storage for just $10 Billion! Think about it. California ideal place for similar setup. At least, it will be once it actually has surplus renewable energy at certain hours of the day.

This is interesting. Can you link to some info? 

thanks. 

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13 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

You actually build O&G installations (drilling and production) where the oil is located. Refineries need to have ship access and be close to where the pipelines come ashore. Not alot of options.

I would think that solar and wind generating plants would have more options.

We don't disagree. 

All I am saying is that if the O&G industry can risk asses and accept some risk, why can renewables not?

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1 hour ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

We don't disagree. 

All I am saying is that if the O&G industry can risk asses and accept some risk, why can renewables not?

Sorry about that, didn't mean to sound 'combative'.

You are absolutely correct.

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3 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

You actually build O&G installations (drilling and production) where the oil is located. Refineries need to have ship access and be close to where the pipelines come ashore. Not alot of options.

I would think that solar and wind generating plants would have more options.

They do - but SW California is an extremely good location for Solar power

  • Close to large populations.
  • Availability of land with little alternative use
  • The fire risk can be adequately controlled using sheep and goats - which is about the only use of the land anyway so there is no real opportunity loss of siting the panels there - and they actually make nice sun shades for the livestock:D
  • The risk of an earthquake that would actually destroy the panels is probably a 1/10000 year event, a  residual risk the developers and insurers are likely to be willing to absorb.

 

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10 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Did you even bother to read the 'causes'?

We studied this incident thouroughly when I began working the offshore rigs back in the mid-1980's.

The control 

Let's say that you call a reputable electrician to fix a wiring issue in your home. He/she gets it wrong, there is a spark and your house burns to the ground.

Would you tell the insurance company that you would accept a portion of the blame because the electrician would not have been there unless you had called him/her?

If a farmer orders a tank car full of ammonia (as per your example), he does not own it until he takes possession. It is expected that the railroad will transport the ammonia in a safe and efficient manner as they are the experts in the field of rail transportation.

If you would run over and kill a pedestrian on the way to pick up your child from school, should they charge your child with vehicular homicide as well? According to your logic, you would not have been in your vehicle, on the road, if it were not for your child.

In the case of Ocean Ranger - The hazard was the rogue wave - hardly an unpredictable risk in the North Atlantic.

The control measures failed agreed, but the originating causal factor was a natural event.

As stated - the control of tangible natural event risk in the case of the solar farm is rather simply and involves a small flock of sheep or goats*

 

 

 

* creates a potential income opportunity for a local farmer who can be paid a small income for running a number of largely self sufficient goats / sheep in the enclosure and get a nice supply of organic mutton periodically.

 

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The term 'rogue wave' is accurate, they are unpredictable. It is a calculated risk and is considered by naval architects. 

The Ocean Ranger itself could handle the rogue wave, the decision to locate the control room in the leg was the root cause of the disaster.

Are you saying that if there is ANY risk from a 'natural event' that projects should not be undertaken. If that is the case, most construction projects globally would be shelved.

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6 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

The term 'rogue wave' is accurate, they are unpredictable. It is a calculated risk and is considered by naval architects. 

The Ocean Ranger itself could handle the rogue wave, the decision to locate the control room in the leg was the root cause of the disaster.

Are you saying that if there is ANY risk from a 'natural event' that projects should not be undertaken. If that is the case, most construction projects globally would be shelved.

Had a big delivery of straw today?

If you read previous posts I have mentioned the concept of residual risk in risk management which is the complete opposite of your statement above. 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 8:01 PM, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

This is interesting. Can you link to some info? 

thanks. 

Just google Australia pumped hydro for all states and Snowy Hydro 2 for the large one I have referred to.

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If u google America pumped hydro, u will find that US has long history of pumped hydro for load balancing, but pumping done with fossil fuels. Only just starting to use some renewables but industry in revival mode. Greenies are the problem in California.

 

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On 7/8/2019 at 12:16 AM, Douglas Buckland said:

All true.

As long as humans are involved in any endeavor, and I hope that they always are, there is the risk of human error and accidents.

To assume robotics and artificial intelligence will eradicate errors and accidents is silly....they are a product of human 'intelligence' and programming and as such, can suffer as well.

A robot can perform a function quicker and longer than a human....they can also perform a flawed function quicker and more efficiently than any human.

Many HSE gurus claim that there is no such thing as an accident. I disagree. If the operation is FULLY understood and EVERY parameter relevant to a design is understood prior to finalizing a design or operation, accidents should not occur. But the fact is that even though the best engineering practices are used and best practices employed, nobody has a crystal ball and can foresee every possible problem which may be encountered. This is why it is a good practice to never by a new product when it is introduced to the market. Wait until the 'bugs' are worked out.

Thankfully a lot of people, including myself, bought a lot of computers when they were very expensive for what you got by today's standards.

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On 7/8/2019 at 3:31 AM, Douglas Buckland said:

California is probably the worst place on the planet to attempt ANY business endeavor! Increasing taxes, earthquakes, wild fires and rampant stupidity.

I wouldn't live there, and the regulatory environment is a reason, costs of housing and traffic bigger ones not to live there, but that strange environment creates opportunities too. Navigating that mess creates a potential margin the less sophisticated can't deal with. If you are in the biz of selling electrical storage, or instal/designing utility scale solar, probably the best market in the USA. California maybe nutters, but there is a lot of money to make off nutters.

As for the earthquake risk, one big enough to take out a solar farm is also taking out substations and lines. Portable power and on-site/distributed power reigns. Worked with a manufacturing site in California a few years back. They contracted for diesel if the big one hit. I thought it was a bit silly, that scale would take out roads so they could manufacturer, but not deliver. Later the choice was to open a second major manufacturing site in Texas. Many of the manufacturers I worked with now only have satellite facilities in California, but mainly because of the cost of real estate and labor. But forgoing California as a market is crazy. It is too big to ignore.

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But is the headache worth the opportunity?

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