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(Grist)   A report from the Edison Electric Institute predicts that if 10% of people installed roof mounted solar panels it would destroy the electric utilities... Well Bye   (grist.org) divider line 61
    More: Interesting, return on investments, Edison Electric Institute, solar pv, solar panels, competitive markets  
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2621 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 Apr 2013 at 10:06 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-13 01:27:03 AM  
Rates have to go up as customer base shrinks.  I'd hate to get the last electric bill.
 
2013-04-13 04:02:19 AM  
Hmmm... Back when I worked for a giant electric utility, the complaint was that peak power was the most expensive power for the utility to produce, mainly because the so-called "peaker" plants, such as gas turbine plants, are more expensive to operate than the "base load" plants such as hydro and nuclear. Having to buy power from neighboring utilities to meet peak demand is even worse. Part of the impetus behind "smart meters" and remote control schemes is to reduce mid-summer peak demand. Now you say the utilities maintain that reducing mid-day demand with solar will "destroy" the business? Something isn't right, here. Now, going off the grid completely, that would cost them Rogers from Duke is quoted as saying. That sort of thing might eventually fulfill the prediction and cost quite a few jobs, but will anyone besides the electric utility industry shed any tears for the demise of the electric utility industry?
 
2013-04-13 05:21:32 AM  

This About That: Hmmm... Back when I worked for a giant electric utility, the complaint was that peak power was the most expensive power for the utility to produce, mainly because the so-called "peaker" plants, such as gas turbine plants, are more expensive to operate than the "base load" plants such as hydro and nuclear. Having to buy power from neighboring utilities to meet peak demand is even worse. Part of the impetus behind "smart meters" and remote control schemes is to reduce mid-summer peak demand. Now you say the utilities maintain that reducing mid-day demand with solar will "destroy" the business? Something isn't right, here. Now, going off the grid completely, that would cost them Rogers from Duke is quoted as saying. That sort of thing might eventually fulfill the prediction and cost quite a few jobs, but will anyone besides the electric utility industry shed any tears for the demise of the electric utility industry?


Not an expert, but I would bet the economics of this have changed over the last few years. Natural gas has gotten much cheaper with respect to coal and nuclear.
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2013-04-13 06:08:27 AM  

mr_a: Not an expert, but I would bet the economics of this have changed over the last few years. Natural gas has gotten much cheaper with respect to coal and nuclear.


No, his argument is valid.  If you also consider that most utilities offer cash incentives to purchase energy efficient products like high SEER heatpumps, etc. that behavior strongly supports his statement.  They are doing everything they can to reduce grid loading so they DON'T have to upgrade with new coal fired backup plants or add reactors.  NOT building those backup plants or adding reactors, etc. saves them huge amounts of money.

It's the oil/coal industries which fear they will soon have millions of competitors putting power onto the grid.  There is a growing anti-solar lobby which is well funded by big oil.  Every time someone puts solar panels on a roof, that's less money in the pockets of the oil/coal industry and they don't like competitors.  They don't mind alcohol production because it's a zero sum gain, the alcohol production consumes as much oil energy as it produces in alcohol energy.  All the profit benefit goes to the big agro companies.
 
2013-04-13 06:40:29 AM  

NFA: mr_a: Not an expert, but I would bet the economics of this have changed over the last few years. Natural gas has gotten much cheaper with respect to coal and nuclear.

No, his argument is valid.  If you also consider that most utilities offer cash incentives to purchase energy efficient products like high SEER heatpumps, etc. that behavior strongly supports his statement.  They are doing everything they can to reduce grid loading so they DON'T have to upgrade with new coal fired backup plants or add reactors.  NOT building those backup plants or adding reactors, etc. saves them huge amounts of money.

It's the oil/coal industries which fear they will soon have millions of competitors putting power onto the grid.  There is a growing anti-solar lobby which is well funded by big oil.  Every time someone puts solar panels on a roof, that's less money in the pockets of the oil/coal industry and they don't like competitors.  They don't mind alcohol production because it's a zero sum gain, the alcohol production consumes as much oil energy as it produces in alcohol energy.  All the profit benefit goes to the big agro companies.


Not quite sure what his argument was, but I was commenting on the relative cost of peak electricity. It has been falling because the price of natural gas has been falling. I am sure there is better data out there, but here is one chart showing a roughly 20% decline in the spot electricity price-a very good indicator of peak power production pricing.

It would also be interesting to know how much of the utilities' desire to reduce peak consumption is based on distribution rather than production. Here in the Pacific Northwest, arguably atypical, utilities have occasionally had to encourage consumption, or turn off wind turbines, because of distribution shortfalls.
 
2013-04-13 06:41:36 AM  
 
2013-04-13 08:32:38 AM  
Is solar power good enough for the mean folk?

I mean, is it cost effective for those who buy them? Is it cheap to manufacture them to the point where it would cost more to repair than to buy anew?
 
2013-04-13 09:45:16 AM  
I have a friend from work who just installed 11KW. He says he needs about 7.5. He has no backing store.
He will pump it back to the grid. This is in the mid-alantic. I've seen alot of growth in the neighborhood in the last 5 years.
 
2013-04-13 10:12:15 AM  
I've recently had a 10KW system installed.

Have you done your part?
 
2013-04-13 10:17:57 AM  
Since wind and solar introduce random amounts of power into the grid -it's not always sunny or windy, that creates a headache for utilities trying to balance their load.
 
2013-04-13 10:25:21 AM  
I live in an apt.  :(
 
2013-04-13 10:26:40 AM  
For a typical house with a typical family does the roof alone provide enough surface area to provide all the power?

I have no idea if 10kW is enough for 4 people or if it takes a football field of arrays to get that.
 
2013-04-13 10:38:03 AM  

simplicimus: Since wind and solar introduce random amounts of power into the grid -it's not always sunny or windy, that creates a headache for utilities trying to balance their load.


So what. Why do I have to care about their problems?

lelio: For a typical house with a typical family does the roof alone provide enough surface area to provide all the power?

I have no idea if 10kW is enough for 4 people or if it takes a football field of arrays to get that.


In  places like Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico and similarly sunny places it takes about 400 square feet of solar panels to supply to an average home. Yes that include battery storage for night.
 
2013-04-13 10:38:27 AM  
Some solar leasing companies also lease 8-10kw battery setups with generator backup.  You can go completely off the grid for no money down, just make the payments to them that you used to make to your utility.
 
2013-04-13 10:41:32 AM  
Wind is really taking off in some places, I think that's the bigger competitor for traditional providers.  Iowa and South Dakota already get 25% of their total electricity from wind.

Link
 
2013-04-13 10:47:56 AM  

lelio: For a typical house with a typical family does the roof alone provide enough surface area to provide all the power?

I have no idea if 10kW is enough for 4 people or if it takes a football field of arrays to get that.



TFA also mentions the array of batteries needed to store power. Panel and battery tech are improving, and the article was a study funded by the Edison Institute, intended for power industry consumption. Like everything these days it went public.

The interesting thing is we could absolutely get to not needing a "grid" eventually, which would take a lot of cash but is technologically doable right now. Not having a grid would mean there's no central grid full of SCADA devices for a logic bomb/terrorist worm to attack. Its an open secret that SCADA devices are pretty much waiting to be compromised, they have no security internally and only "closed network" protecting them from the outside-in.

So we'll probably see a combination of the grid failing or being compromised, and individuals scrambling around to meet demand on their own. The transition might not be smooth but it seems to be inevitable. The grid will persist a while, but eventually it won't even make sense to maintain.

Also, as fewer and fewer people leave the grid, prices paid to people for leaving will fall or go away all together - the whole idea was you were paying people to assist with peak energy demand by drawing less power. I really doubt they'll let that law keep draining power company revenue past a certain point though.

And finally, lobbyists for big power companies won't sit by and watch their cash cows get slaughtered.

But slaughtered they will. According to TFA, this is a "when," not an "if." Unless completely artificial means prop up the grid, like outlawing solar panels or something ridiculous like that.
 
2013-04-13 10:49:20 AM  
s/ "Fewer and fewer people leave the grid / Fewer people REMAIN on the grid

And to think they let me write reports at all.
 
2013-04-13 11:17:04 AM  

This About That: Hmmm... Back when I worked for a giant electric utility, the complaint was that peak power was the most expensive power for the utility to produce, mainly because the so-called "peaker" plants, such as gas turbine plants, are more expensive to operate than the "base load" plants such as hydro and nuclear. Having to buy power from neighboring utilities to meet peak demand is even worse. Part of the impetus behind "smart meters" and remote control schemes is to reduce mid-summer peak demand. Now you say the utilities maintain that reducing mid-day demand with solar will "destroy" the business? Something isn't right, here. Now, going off the grid completely, that would cost them Rogers from Duke is quoted as saying. That sort of thing might eventually fulfill the prediction and cost quite a few jobs, but will anyone besides the electric utility industry shed any tears for the demise of the electric utility industry?


Yes, this makes zero sense.  I work in the software side of the business and can confiim this. Peak is very expensive as it's costly to spin up the secondary generation devices.

Also, a powerplant (or any factory) has a maximum level of output.  Using any amount up to that level costs about the same, you only pay the marginal cost of the extra fuel.  Going 10% above that output means you have to build a whole new power plant, which is super expensive.

If 10% of people added solar panels the electric utilities would love that IMO.  People also forget that electric cars are slowly becoming widespread, and they amount to having an entire new type of large appliance in your house (like if suddenly everybody went from drying clothes outside to having a dryer).
 
2013-04-13 11:20:01 AM  

simplicimus: Since wind and solar introduce random amounts of power into the grid -it's not always sunny or windy, that creates a headache for utilities trying to balance their load.


Wind maybe,but solar runs very close to AC demand levels.

This could be resolved altogether by adding some type of capacitors or battery packs to residential systems to help smooth generation and demand.  One of the better ideas I've heard is to use electric cars to do this, so the Utlity can reach out and tap your car battery if they get a demand spike (and provide you a lower charging rate in return).
 
2013-04-13 11:23:34 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Rates have to go up as customer base shrinks.  I'd hate to get the last electric bill.


Wasnt there a place in colorado which switched to metered water rates in order to generate more revenue (or something like that)?
The result was people used less water when it was metered. lowering total revenue.
LOL

If only there were some way for utilities to be more progressive and work faster to lower rates. If rates were lower, people would use more power and no one would install solar panels.

LOLOLOLOL
 
2013-04-13 11:29:35 AM  

nocturnal001: Yes, this makes zero sense.  I work in the software side of the business and can confiim this. Peak is very expensive as it's costly to spin up the secondary generation devices.

Also, a powerplant (or any factory) has a maximum level of output.  Using any amount up to that level costs about the same, you only pay the marginal cost of the extra fuel.  Going 10% above that output means you have to build a whole new power plant, which is super expensive.

If 10% of people added solar panels the electric utilities would love that IMO.  People also forget that electric cars are slowly becoming widespread, and they amount to having an entire new type of large appliance in your house (like if suddenly everybody went from drying clothes outside to having a dryer).


The whole problem is about capacitance. IF the power companies had a cheap efficient way to store electricity at night while demand was low and use that storage buffer during peak times ...

Of course, as long as fuel is so dirty cheap, there is little to no incentive for progress.

hmmmmmmm
10% of the houses have solar power + storage batteries.
the power companies could sell low demand power to those houses for much lower rates, to charge those batteries to full
and draw on those batteries during the day to meet peak demand.

distributed power generation and storage?

/none of this will happen while coal, gas and oil is still so dirt cheap.
/I cant wait until we start burning coal again. the outrage will be balance by demands for lower bills.
/hmmmmmmmm why arent we investing in fission again?? disposal?? LOL
 
2013-04-13 11:48:46 AM  
For those who have put in systems, are there manufacturers you would suggest?
 
2013-04-13 11:51:06 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Rates have to go up as customer base shrinks.  I'd hate to get the last electric bill.


Don't worry. That will go to some backwards conservative who is scared of the future and wants to "show" those hippies that they were wrong. That isn't you, I trust.
 
2013-04-13 11:54:20 AM  
AmerenUE is paying me a huge rebate to install solar panels.  It knocks 40% off the cost of the system.  If the rain stays away I should be online some time next week!
 
2013-04-13 11:58:04 AM  
namatad:
/hmmmmmmmm why arent we investing in fission again?? disposal?? LOL

Mostly because capital expenses are so high. People always gripe about how solar "can't compete without subsidies".  That is far more true about nuclear.
 
2013-04-13 12:10:06 PM  
Incoming post from that smug guy complete with pictures of his solar powered house incoming in 3...2...1...
 
2013-04-13 12:15:38 PM  
Generation_D:
The interesting thing is we could absolutely get to not needing a "grid" eventually, which would take a lot of cash but is technologically doable right now. Not having a grid would mean there's no central grid full of SCADA devices for a logic bomb/terrorist worm to attack. Its an open secret that SCADA devices are pretty much waiting to be compromised, they have no security internally and only "closed network" protecting them from the outside-in.

So we'll probably see a combination of the grid failing or being compromised, and individuals scrambling around to meet demand on their own. The transition might not be smooth but it seems to be inevitable. The grid will persist a while, but eventually it won't even make sense to maintain.


Thing is, most of the 3 major grids, when you get farther away from the plants, aren't on any sort of SCADA system.  Many of the interties are just looking locally for loss of service which can be handled by a syc check relay.  Heck, there are still 30 year old electo-mechanical relays all over the place.  Yes, I see the problem losing a plant or two.  It is the interconnections that are going to get confused & nuisance trip when their loads suddenly change.

Until the advent in the past 10 years of the easy to use windows based pspice like programs (ETAP, SKM , ASPEN, etc), the utilites themselves didn't really have a complete picture of their local grid or they where trying to look at not necessarily asbuilt CAD drawings.  At least it is getting better now.  A decade ago i'd be asking for fault capacity on the utility primary service and i'd be getting "use unlimited, we have no idea" or "we think we have a 5MVA sub upstream, can you use that as a starting point?".  Now at least, I'm getting nice formal letters with an actual calculation, min and max Isc values, and many times their recloser or OCPD data which look like they've come directly out of a decent system model.  Heck, to keep costs down, most if it is still fused anyway.

What I'm trying to say is the chance of another 2003 NE blackout is at least less because utilities are doing a somewhat better job at mapping their controls, load and overcurrent issues.

/ok ok i'm rating, but I'm an engineer, not an english major.
 
2013-04-13 12:22:19 PM  

Hollie Maea: namatad:
/hmmmmmmmm why arent we investing in fission again?? disposal?? LOL

Mostly because capital expenses are so high. People always gripe about how solar "can't compete without subsidies".  That is far more true about nuclear.


yah
I know a ton of people in the industry working on the next gen reactors. The goal of having just a couple of reactor plans, and once you get approval, you can build the same plant in a different location without going through the approval process, yet again.

Toss in the "fossil fuels are free" factor and there is no way to compete. It will be interesting to see 20-50 years down the road.
In theory, fossil fuels might be winding down by then and the equation will have shifted.
(I say might, because every prediction to date has been wrong concerning fossil fuels. And most completely rule out coal. If/when the world ends and climate change really hits hard, do you think anyone will care about lowering CO2 vs having power for heating, cooling, and pumping out flood waters??)
 
2013-04-13 12:26:44 PM  

Petey4335: What I'm trying to say is the chance of another 2003 NE blackout is at least less because utilities are doing a somewhat better job at mapping their controls, load and overcurrent issues.


Toss in the massive changes and improvements in tech ... solid state switches and what not ...

It would be interesting to see a time-lapsed video of the changing power system over the last 100 years. Both the interconnection and capacity.
/geeks
 
2013-04-13 12:35:40 PM  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_cost_of_electricity_generated_b y _different_sources#Analysis_from_different_sources

and NG wins .... nothing else even comes close. which explains all the fraking around the world.
cheap to get out of ground, cheap to transport, clean to burn, simple plants, etc.
 
2013-04-13 12:40:55 PM  

namatad: Petey4335: What I'm trying to say is the chance of another 2003 NE blackout is at least less because utilities are doing a somewhat better job at mapping their controls, load and overcurrent issues.

Toss in the massive changes and improvements in tech ... solid state switches and what not ...

It would be interesting to see a time-lapsed video of the changing power system over the last 100 years. Both the interconnection and capacity.
/geeks


It would be interesting to see, but the data is most likely lost. Getting decent info from a 'simple' system like a hospital, which has been added to, upgraded, and as has unreliable as built drawings is bad enough.

We had a very large stadium in the past half decade, which i will not name, that has about 20 or so subs. Nearing the end of the project, for space issues, a few of the main swbds where hacked to pieces and the loads where moved to other services. I remember the equipment manufacturer spent a week directing where the new cbs and rating plug changes were supposed to go. I am real glad we didn't have to arc flash label the project. The as builts are probably way off, and we would have to site visit and redo the onelines. I hear it is up to code and the lights havn't nuisance tripped... but that is between the owner and AHJ now.
 
2013-04-13 12:53:09 PM  

Petey4335: namatad: Petey4335: What I'm trying to say is the chance of another 2003 NE blackout is at least less because utilities are doing a somewhat better job at mapping their controls, load and overcurrent issues.

Toss in the massive changes and improvements in tech ... solid state switches and what not ...

It would be interesting to see a time-lapsed video of the changing power system over the last 100 years. Both the interconnection and capacity.
/geeks

It would be interesting to see, but the data is most likely lost. Getting decent info from a 'simple' system like a hospital, which has been added to, upgraded, and as has unreliable as built drawings is bad enough.

We had a very large stadium in the past half decade, which i will not name, that has about 20 or so subs. Nearing the end of the project, for space issues, a few of the main swbds where hacked to pieces and the loads where moved to other services. I remember the equipment manufacturer spent a week directing where the new cbs and rating plug changes were supposed to go. I am real glad we didn't have to arc flash label the project. The as builts are probably way off, and we would have to site visit and redo the onelines. I hear it is up to code and the lights havn't nuisance tripped... but that is between the owner and AHJ now.


Well, I guess we know which very large stadium you  aren't talking about...
 
2013-04-13 01:57:19 PM  
For those of you who are putting in solar would you mind giving us your costs?
 
2013-04-13 02:04:55 PM  

BumpInTheNight: Incoming post from that smug guy complete with pictures of his solar powered house incoming in 3...2...1...


Naaa, I'll post a picture of my solar (and wind, duh) powered sailboat for you instead, since I'm living on it in downtown Seattle this weekend.

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

Then on Sunday, I'll drive from the marian to my solar powered home - in my solar powered electric car. And on Monday morning, I'll drive to my solar powered office. I've almost entirely eliminated my need for fossil fuels or the utilities.

/no snark
//lots of smug
 
2013-04-13 02:05:58 PM  
marian = marina

/looks like my solar powered spellcheck has some bugs
 
2013-04-13 02:34:02 PM  

wingnut396: I've recently had a 10KW system installed.

Have you done your part?


I tried.  Last year I contacted a company that was offering a deal on solar panel installations.  I scheduled an appointment to have them come out and take a look.  They called me a few days before the appointment and said they looked at my house on google street view and determined that we weren't a candidate for solar panels.  I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion.  We only have one tree on the side of the house that casts a shadow on the far edge of the roof and that could be pruned.  Otherwise, the roof is unobstructed.  Oh well, I tried.
 
2013-04-13 02:55:31 PM  
Bullshiat.

Electricity demand fluctuates wildly from hour to hour, from day to day and from season to season and even from year to year as populations rise and fall with the movement of people. Yet a consistant 10% decrease in single family home residential demand would cause collapse of the industry? Taking into consideration apartment buildings, office buildings, industrial uses, street lights, etc etc how much of their total demand could possibly be locked up in SFHs?
 
2013-04-13 03:45:00 PM  
How do you supplement your home power with solar?  Say I mount some panels on my roof.  Then what?  How do I connect my stuff to that power source?
 
2013-04-13 03:52:44 PM  
Germany closed another nuclear power plant this last week due to the solar panels everywhere in the country.  They plan to be off foreign oil for energy by 2018 and close the last nuke plant by 2035.  Mostly through solar.  With weather mostly like Seattle.  Deutschland uber alles.
sun-gazing.com
blogs-images.forbes.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr5qd-DRFQI
 
2013-04-13 04:08:58 PM  
Quite possibly the most ironic statement from the EDISON electric institute in the history of mankind..
 
2013-04-13 04:11:11 PM  

This About That: Hmmm... Back when I worked for a giant electric utility, the complaint was that peak power was the most expensive power for the utility to produce, mainly because the so-called "peaker" plants, such as gas turbine plants, are more expensive to operate than the "base load" plants such as hydro and nuclear. Having to buy power from neighboring utilities to meet peak demand is even worse. Part of the impetus behind "smart meters" and remote control schemes is to reduce mid-summer peak demand. Now you say the utilities maintain that reducing mid-day demand with solar will "destroy" the business? Something isn't right, here. Now, going off the grid completely, that would cost them Rogers from Duke is quoted as saying. That sort of thing might eventually fulfill the prediction and cost quite a few jobs, but will anyone besides the electric utility industry shed any tears for the demise of the electric utility industry?


Work for a giant electric now, you're on the right track.  But it less about generation fuel costs and more about customers generating their own power. The regulated utilities are (and presumably will) still be required to generate a minimum amount of base load power, even if it's not being used, in order to provide the system reliability and on-demand power for customers.  That is one of the conditions for them to have their regional monopolies.
 
2013-04-13 04:35:27 PM  
I live in Hawaii and our situation is different than on the mainland.  But our electric company is actively encouraging the installation of solar.

I think it reduces demand during the day - when AC is in full use.  We are dependent on oil for power production and because we're in the middle of nowhere, getting that oil here is pretty expensive.
 
2013-04-13 05:13:05 PM  

foo monkey: How do you supplement your home power with solar?  Say I mount some panels on my roof.  Then what?  How do I connect my stuff to that power source?


Best solution is to get a grid tied inverter. Then it will be transparent, as far as you are concerned. You an get the whole system installed for about 4 dollars per watt peak (before subsidies).
 
2013-04-13 05:14:24 PM  

Pincy: wingnut396: I've recently had a 10KW system installed.

Have you done your part?

I tried.  Last year I contacted a company that was offering a deal on solar panel installations.  I scheduled an appointment to have them come out and take a look.  They called me a few days before the appointment and said they looked at my house on google street view and determined that we weren't a candidate for solar panels.  I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion.  We only have one tree on the side of the house that casts a shadow on the far edge of the roof and that could be pruned.  Otherwise, the roof is unobstructed.  Oh well, I tried.



Where do you live?
 
2013-04-13 05:17:39 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Wind is really taking off in some places, I think that's the bigger competitor for traditional providers.  Iowa and South Dakota already get 25% of their total electricity from wind.

Link


I just bought a home in the panhandle of Nebraska. We get a good amount of sunshine, but the hail in the spring would destroy anything I install. I've been looking at wind power, but I am not aware of something that can be installed on a rooftop in the middle of town which is financially feasible. I'll take a look at your link. Thanks for posting it.
 
2013-04-13 05:27:20 PM  

dchurch0: but the hail in the spring would destroy anything I install


No it won't.  It might ruin your house, it will definitely ruin your car, but it won't ruin your solar panels.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI6K3xlgYoY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qrXhI6TQHQ
 
2013-04-13 05:33:01 PM  

Hollie Maea: dchurch0: but the hail in the spring would destroy anything I install

No it won't.  It might ruin your house, it will definitely ruin your car, but it won't ruin your solar panels.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI6K3xlgYoY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qrXhI6TQHQ


Great links. Thanks for posting! I've got some reading to do.
 
2013-04-13 05:35:54 PM  

Hollie Maea: dchurch0: but the hail in the spring would destroy anything I install

No it won't.  It might ruin your house, it will definitely ruin your car, but it won't ruin your solar panels.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI6K3xlgYoY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qrXhI6TQHQ


Wow. This is good stuff. I'm thinking some solar panels and some 50 year hail resistant shingles might be enough to make this happen for me. Thanks again for the links.
 
2013-04-13 07:33:32 PM  
You're welcome!
 
2013-04-13 09:11:15 PM  

simplicimus: Since wind and solar introduce random amounts of power into the grid -it's not always sunny or windy, that creates a headache for utilities trying to balance their load.


That's where natural gas turbines come into play, you can spin them up and down on demand to balance out other less controllable supplies...

Yep you are still burning stuff, but at least it isn't coal
 
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