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(Vice)   Buckle up for an ERCOT-style summer across much of North America   (vice.com) divider line
    More: Fail, Power outage, Electric power transmission, Electricity market, U.S. West, The Grid, Summer of Love, latter eventuality, grid failure  
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6109 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 24 May 2022 at 11:45 PM (11 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-05-24 11:04:25 PM  
Maybe spend your capital on infrastructure upgrades instead of fighting residential solar panels, eh?
 
2022-05-24 11:47:50 PM  

edmo: Maybe spend your capital on infrastructure upgrades instead of fighting residential solar panels, eh?


Ok, but how does that both kill brown people and prop up the military industrial complex?

Did you even think about the military industrial complex?
 
2022-05-24 11:48:22 PM  
Worst Disney theme park.
 
2022-05-24 11:50:10 PM  

edmo: Maybe spend your capital on infrastructure upgrades instead of fighting residential solar panels, eh?


Fightin' Residential Solar Panels is the name of my college football team.

/Go Panels!
 
2022-05-24 11:50:11 PM  

edmo: Maybe spend your capital on infrastructure upgrades instead of fighting residential solar panels, eh?


Most solar power is grid-connected solar power. No grid power, no solar power, either.
 
2022-05-24 11:50:55 PM  
Only question is: will Ted Cruz flee to Cancun for power outages outside of Texas?
 
2022-05-24 11:52:03 PM  
So it's gonna be a cruel summer.
 
2022-05-24 11:53:47 PM  
The land of hydroelectric power looks up at the full reservoirs and snowpack still accumulating above them and says "Good luck with all of that".
 
2022-05-24 11:54:41 PM  
This is why it was important to have a robust infrastructure bill.
 
2022-05-24 11:55:30 PM  

fragMasterFlash: The land of hydroelectric power looks up at the full reservoirs and snowpack still accumulating above them and says "Good luck with all of that".


I think Washington will be just fine.
 
2022-05-25 12:00:20 AM  
Now I was assured that this is strictly a Texas problem.   How could WA and OR have power grid problems?
 
2022-05-25 12:01:16 AM  
The 'R' in ERCOT stands for reliability!
 
2022-05-25 12:05:24 AM  
We're fine. We're all fine down here now

Texas' grid operator told a power plant to delay repairs ahead of a May heat wave. It was among six that crashed.

https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/17/texas-power-plant-failure-repairs-ercot/amp/

Everything is alright. How are you?
 
2022-05-25 12:06:02 AM  
*Looks smugly at solar panels on the roof*
 
2022-05-25 12:06:37 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Worst Disney theme park.


Experimental Run-Down City of Tomorrow
 
2022-05-25 12:07:17 AM  
It's all because of La Niña which is expected to stick around for a third consecutive year.  La Niña is of course Spanish for The Niña.
 
2022-05-25 12:08:36 AM  
By just after 5 p.m. Friday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced that six power plants had gone down unexpectedly and asked Texans to turn up their thermostats to 78 degrees for the weekend and avoid using large appliances during the hottest hours of the day to reduce strain on the power grid.

So basically they're asking Texans not to run their air conditioners?
 
2022-05-25 12:08:54 AM  

HighwayBill: So it's gonna be a cruel summer.


I would have gone with: Because it's dark and you can't bathe without swimming in a creek or something
Danzig - Dirty Black Summer
Youtube kREle_uGckw
 
2022-05-25 12:09:34 AM  
Why does the war between Russia and Ukraine have anything to do with America's power grid?
 
2022-05-25 12:11:42 AM  
I have a whole house generator, but that's just...reallyexpensive and inefficient power.  I want solar, micro-wind or micro hydro, but all of them require a good bit of financial outlay.  Somebody (like the government) should offer interest-free, 100%, 20-year financing for homeowners who want solar.  Perhaps the government could also make a deal with a number of US-based manufacturers/providers to guarantee a certain number of sales (would be easy with the first one above) a year or so in advance so that the manufacturing base has a chance to get ahead of the curve.  If 5 percent of American single family homes signed up per year (about 10 million of the 200 million total single family homes), and assuming that the houses would generate 100% of their requirement (big if), then you could have the US mostly converted to renewables in 20 years, about the same time the first systems need replacing.  Of course, if the average home needs 30 solar panels to be fully powered, then you need 300 million panels produced per year.  Also, storage would be a problem, since panels don't work at night.
 
2022-05-25 12:15:18 AM  
I'll continue to not have AC and just hang out mostly nekkid under the ceiling fan with the cats. At most I'll adjust film development times for the few extra degrees of warmth.
 
2022-05-25 12:17:16 AM  
This has to be a sign of something.
F.M.L. I could have 100K and this whole nation is still farked. This is great time to be poor AF. Every thing is in sort supply or over priced or both.
I hope rich people realize a collapse effects even them.
 
2022-05-25 12:21:59 AM  

Mrtraveler01: By just after 5 p.m. Friday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced that six power plants had gone down unexpectedly and asked Texans to turn up their thermostats to 78 degrees for the weekend and avoid using large appliances during the hottest hours of the day to reduce strain on the power grid.

So basically they're asking Texans not to run their air conditioners?


Umm... it MIGHT drop to 78 in Texas in the summer...outside, at 3AM.
 
2022-05-25 12:28:13 AM  

stray_capts: I have a whole house generator, but that's just...reallyexpensive and inefficient power.  I want solar, micro-wind or micro hydro, but all of them require a good bit of financial outlay.  Somebody (like the government) should offer interest-free, 100%, 20-year financing for homeowners who want solar.  Perhaps the government could also make a deal with a number of US-based manufacturers/providers to guarantee a certain number of sales (would be easy with the first one above) a year or so in advance so that the manufacturing base has a chance to get ahead of the curve.  If 5 percent of American single family homes signed up per year (about 10 million of the 200 million total single family homes), and assuming that the houses would generate 100% of their requirement (big if), then you could have the US mostly converted to renewables in 20 years, about the same time the first systems need replacing.  Of course, if the average home needs 30 solar panels to be fully powered, then you need 300 million panels produced per year.  Also, storage would be a problem, since panels don't work at night.


I doubt the dirty energy lobbyists would allow that to happen.
 
2022-05-25 12:30:30 AM  
So, serious question. What's the best way to go about getting a solar system installed?

/asking for a friend
//I, I mean my friend doesn't want to get scammed
 
2022-05-25 12:39:56 AM  
Maybe if we build a border wall that'll solve it.
 
2022-05-25 12:39:58 AM  

Mr. Breeze: So, serious question. What's the best way to go about getting a solar system installed?

/asking for a friend
//I, I mean my friend doesn't want to get scammed


Well, you start with a vast interstellar cloud of dust, which then collapses in due to its own gravity...
 
2022-05-25 12:43:43 AM  

paulleah: fragMasterFlash: The land of hydroelectric power looks up at the full reservoirs and snowpack still accumulating above them and says "Good luck with all of that".

I think Washington will be just fine.


You should let PG&E come in and fix that.

Everyone needs a little spark in their lives now and then.
 
2022-05-25 12:51:27 AM  

Madman drummers bummers: Mr. Breeze: So, serious question. What's the best way to go about getting a solar system installed?

/asking for a friend
//I, I mean my friend doesn't want to get scammed

Well, you start with a vast interstellar cloud of dust, which then collapses in due to its own gravity...


Then came the dinosaurs!
 
2022-05-25 12:57:14 AM  

jagec: Mrtraveler01: By just after 5 p.m. Friday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced that six power plants had gone down unexpectedly and asked Texans to turn up their thermostats to 78 degrees for the weekend and avoid using large appliances during the hottest hours of the day to reduce strain on the power grid.

So basically they're asking Texans not to run their air conditioners?

Umm... it MIGHT drop to 78 in Texas in the summer...outside, at 3AM.


The people who say to turn their AC to 78F. Clearly have never been in Texas heat for hours, and then gone inside.  When it's 97 to 101F outside and you're in that for hours when you go inside to a 78F, it doesn't feel better.  At all. Nothing.

^this reminds.
fark Houston.
I'm a life long Texan.  But. One summer I was in Houston for a concert.  The motel AC full blast didn't cool you off. The city was hot AF at night.

fark.  Everyone.  I've worked in the outside all my childhood.
Sat in a pickup truck from the beach ⛱  all the way back to San Antonio.
78F in a room/building? fark heads the shade outside feels less awful than a 78F room. If you don't know, you have no business saying 78F is good. No. No it isn't.  I can attest to as much.
And fark off with the installation b.s.
That doesn't explain the heat rising.  While also dropping.  Why is my place hot when its nice outside. But not warm when it's snowing.  Can't be both.
 
2022-05-25 1:01:35 AM  
I know.  Why don't we put all the KWH on an open unregulated exchange and let the invisible hand of the free market set the unit price.

That'll solve everything!
 
2022-05-25 1:01:48 AM  

RedVentrue: paulleah: fragMasterFlash: The land of hydroelectric power looks up at the full reservoirs and snowpack still accumulating above them and says "Good luck with all of that".

I think Washington will be just fine.

You should let PG&E come in and fix that.

Everyone needs a little spark in their lives now and then.


It's a great year. Our reservoirs are overflowing and snowpack is 115%. Plus, it's still snowing and it's been cool and rainy.

You get electrons and you get electrons and you get...
 
2022-05-25 1:06:16 AM  
I wonder what the US is going to call itself after it crumbles and shatters like the USSR.
 
2022-05-25 1:11:15 AM  

bughunter: I know.  Why don't we put all the KWH on an open unregulated exchange and let the invisible hand of the free market set the unit price.

That'll solve everything!


People have the money. But who's going to pay for no light? Heavy use should mean making fark ton of money.
But this isn't enough? Now they want free money. WTF?
 
2022-05-25 1:28:56 AM  
/shrug

I was sitting here earlier perusing Fark and decided to check the thermostat.  It said 90º so I turned on the AC for a little bit.  I turned it off when it got to 86º.  When the sun went down I opened a window and the front door and now it'll cool naturally through the night and I'll repeat the process tomorrow.

/Of course there'll be a point soon where leaving a door/window open overnight won't be an option because the lows will be too high but that won't be this month.
 
2022-05-25 1:31:03 AM  

Spermbot: edmo: Maybe spend your capital on infrastructure upgrades instead of fighting residential solar panels, eh?

Most solar power is grid-connected solar power. No grid power, no solar power, either.


Utilities: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Youtube C-YRSqaPtMg
 
2022-05-25 1:37:41 AM  

C18H27NO3: /shrug

I was sitting here earlier perusing Fark and decided to check the thermostat.  It said 90º so I turned on the AC for a little bit.  I turned it off when it got to 86º.  When the sun went down I opened a window and the front door and now it'll cool naturally through the night and I'll repeat the process tomorrow.

/Of course there'll be a point soon where leaving a door/window open overnight won't be an option because the lows will be too high but that won't be this month.


I too also enjoy sweating my dick off to own the libs. As a bonus I get a lot of mosquitoes inside the house when I leave a door/window open overnight
 
2022-05-25 1:38:25 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Why does the war between Russia and Ukraine have anything to do with America's power grid?


We are shipping metric shiat-tons of fossil fuels to Europe to try to enable several countries to avoid buying Russian gas and oil? That's a first guess.

Second is that the war has sent the price of oil and gas sky high, even if it stays local, raising the costs of power plants. Not many run oil, but a lot are NG, particularly with the historic low prices for NG following the invention of franking.

Those are my 2 educated guesses.
 
2022-05-25 1:54:17 AM  

Mr. Breeze: So, serious question. What's the best way to go about getting a solar system installed?

/asking for a friend
//I, I mean my friend doesn't want to get scammed


If you - I mean, your friend - never realized that AC/DC are types of electricity and not just a band, then you have no choice but to go pro and hope for the best. Ask around, read reviews, etc.

If, however, you are *at all* versed in the dark arts of electronics and can correctly use a multimeter, you...r friend can do a lot of research and do it themselves, which can save you about 50% of the cost. Oh, and you should be a handyman too as you will be doing a lot of drilling, mounting, and routing of cabling. You'll want to be a homeowner too, which is the only reason I don't have panels.

Even if you fly solo, you will still want an electrician to wire up your fusebox; I'll do a lot of things, but working in an open breaker box isn't one of them, I know enough to know that I don't know enough to work on that, not without serious risk of death or loss of property.

Ii build a solar system for my RV; start small, learn the important bits, do a lot of reading on other people's projects, and you'll probably be fine. It really isn't that complicated, you just have to know a lot of simple things and keep them in mind as you design and install the system.
 
2022-05-25 2:17:04 AM  

TorpedoOrca: C18H27NO3: /shrug

I was sitting here earlier perusing Fark and decided to check the thermostat.  It said 90º so I turned on the AC for a little bit.  I turned it off when it got to 86º.  When the sun went down I opened a window and the front door and now it'll cool naturally through the night and I'll repeat the process tomorrow.

/Of course there'll be a point soon where leaving a door/window open overnight won't be an option because the lows will be too high but that won't be this month.

I too also enjoy sweating my dick off to own the libs. As a bonus I get a lot of mosquitoes inside the house when I leave a door/window open overnight


I should mention that I do have a ceiling fan running in this room when I'm in it and and I don't sit here and sweat throughout the day.  It's honestly not uncomfortable at all.  As far as leaving the window/door open you have heard of window screens and screen-style security doors, yeah?

These are my monthly electric bills for the past 11 months: $124, 101, 104, 77, 50, 60, 100, 78, 64, 54, 52.  What's yours?
I don't do this to be frugal, temperature just doesn't really bother me, until it's extreme of course.

/What's this 'owning the libs' bit about?  Do you think I'm some kind of brain-dead republican?
 
2022-05-25 2:25:57 AM  
itshappening.gif
 
2022-05-25 3:19:18 AM  

Boo_Guy: I wonder what the US is going to call itself after it crumbles and shatters like the USSR.


Cascadia, California, Deseret, Gilead, Texas, Greater Florida, the USA (a small portion of the northeast), and New England.
 
2022-05-25 3:20:13 AM  
Shit I'm an Alaska boy and I even forgot Alaska and Hawaii. They'll either gain independence or revert to colonial status with the USA.
 
2022-05-25 3:48:32 AM  

Mr. Breeze: So, serious question. What's the best way to go about getting a solar system installed?

/asking for a friend
//I, I mean my friend doesn't want to get scammed


The usual. Find a good contractor with referrals. Do not take the lowballer. Make sure they have done enough jobs that they can do all the paperwork and answer all your questions.

80% of all the installations I have "done" were with one contractor .They were pricey because they do everything EVERYTHING by the book and it kind of drives me crazy. Never had a problem with any of those. For the other 20%, I have tried others and I have had weird stuff... hesitance... slow paperwork... delays... "I have to check with a guy..." almost like they were not sure what they were doing or maybe they thought I was weird. Who knows. Find someone who is so busy doing what they do that they will get er done and be on to the next thing.
 
2022-05-25 4:00:31 AM  

Boo_Guy: I wonder what the US is going to call itself after it crumbles and shatters like the USSR.


Mutual acrimony aside, Americans need each other. You can't get through a PolTab thread without someone bringing up that the most needy states are the ones everyone wants to dump. But do they want to be dumped? No way. They have their lips on that teat and they won't let go.

This weird tension that people think exists... it just protects the status quo. Puerto Rico might never be a state. Mississippi will never secede.

Of course the USSR was different. And the proof is in the pudding. First Warsaw pact: E. Germany might already have a GNP larger than Russia. Poland too. Hungary, Romania, Czech are all smaller, but moving up fast. And among the republics, the Baltics and Ukraine have been showing healthy growth. Kazakhstan is a sleeping giant, and not so sleepy.

They did not need each other and they did not need Russia. ANd that is why RUssia is going to blow up after this war is over. Russia will put pressure on outlying  areas to pay for its reparations for its stupid war. THey will just say no and take their chances.

Etc.
 
2022-05-25 4:10:03 AM  

Spermbot: edmo: Maybe spend your capital on infrastructure upgrades instead of fighting residential solar panels, eh?

Most solar power is grid-connected solar power. No grid power, no solar power, either.


You know, this is correct. But someone might misunderstand this.

Generally speaking, if you get panels on your roof, your "power conditioner" or DC/AC converter or whatever they call it in your country will have to shut off the link to the grid if there is a local blackout. That keeps line repair persons from getting zapped. However, your system is still generating electricity, so you can usually get, say 1000 W for you to use for your household even if there is a blackout.

We charged phones for our whole community after the 3 11 11 quake. We just snaked a whole bunch of extension cords and charged everyone up. But we also boiled water, powered radios, etc. We could have hooked up an air conditioner, which is kind of pushing it, but still ok.

So if you have your own rooftop solar, and there is a blackout, you can have power even if you are connected to the grid. You won't get as much as you want, but you get enough to get by. Other people get zip.
 
2022-05-25 4:35:24 AM  
Someone upthread said that the government should give people 0% loans to buy solar arrays. Great idea.

But you know, a 3% or 5% loan now, with inflation at 8 point whatever percent, and energy prices going pretty well up and the future filled with EVs and grid insecurity? Waiting for a percentage or two on the loan is not going to make this a good or bad decision.

I don't know what rosy scenario people have in mind... personally, I would like to think that Japan will turn its nukes back on and that fusion breakthroughs will make all energy crazy cheap! China will figure out thorium reactors, Russia will lose the war and flood energy markets to pay their reparations. US frackers will get busy and Iran will get on everyone's good side now that we do not care about nuclear missiles anymore. Sure. It could happen.

But not in this timeline. In this timeline, just as the chip shortage and Chinese Shanghai craziness abates, Russia will start sinking oil tankers and cutting underwater cables, Monkeypox will be the new COVID, EVs, water shortages, wildfires and mismanagement will gut utilities, and rolling blackouts will be seasonal. Or it will be something else.

Or you know, put all the fear away. Just ask yourself how much of your daily life, in this case, electricity, are you going to put in the hands of your utility? Probably a lot. If they want to charge you 20% more next month, what are you going to do? 50%? Can you adapt? What are you going to do? Complain? Insist?

OK. Enough of that. I see a lot of people (really almost everybody) who are totally dependent on electrical utilities, and complain about it, but are unwilling or unable to do anything about it. That does not make sense to me. Incentives are nice and all, but they have seldom if ever induced me to make "green" decisions or "prepper-like" decisions.  Eventually it has to come down to personal responsibility.
 
2022-05-25 6:09:24 AM  
We're closing on a house next month, and our first order of business is going to be installing solar.

Here in Virginia, we had a pretty catastrophic grid failure this past winter, with outages ranging from a few hours to better than a week.  We were one of the more fortunate ones in that ours lasted "only" 36 hours.  That was enough for me.

The only real decision to make at this point is rooftop or ground-based solar, and I suspect that will largely come down to cost.  Ground-based is more expensive, but we'll find out the specifics come June/July.
 
2022-05-25 6:26:33 AM  

God's Hobo Penis: Gyrfalcon: Why does the war between Russia and Ukraine have anything to do with America's power grid?

We are shipping metric shiat-tons of fossil fuels to Europe to try to enable several countries to avoid buying Russian gas and oil? That's a first guess.

Second is that the war has sent the price of oil and gas sky high, even if it stays local, raising the costs of power plants. Not many run oil, but a lot are NG, particularly with the historic low prices for NG following the invention of franking.

Those are my 2 educated guesses.


It's as good a guess as any, but it doesn't really make much sense to me. Thanks for at least trying. It's still very bizarre. O_o
 
2022-05-25 6:35:18 AM  

edmo: Maybe spend your capital on infrastructure upgrades instead of fighting residential solar panels, eh?


That varies from power company to power company. ComEd here in Illinois, much to their credit, is actively promoting residential solar, and they went through my town a couple of years ago renewing the local grid and replacing the streetlights with LEDs.

/have been turning my A/C to 78°F for years
//anything less than 75 and I want a long-sleeve shirt
///brrrrrrr
 
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