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Member since: Thu Feb 28, 2008, 10:49 AM
Number of posts: 529

Journal Archives

So this is what it takes to keep Nuclear Plants open in Ohio

Just a few bucks more for the rate payers in Ohio.

The powerful Republican speaker of the Ohio House and four associates were arrested Tuesday in a $60 million federal bribery case connected to a taxpayer-funded bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants.

Hours after FBI agents raided Speaker Larry Householder’s farm, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers described the ploy as “likely the largest bribery scheme ever perpetrated against the state of Ohio.”

Gov. Mike DeWine, also a Republican, called on Householder to resign immediately, saying it would be impossible for him to be an effective legislative leader given the charges against him.

Householder was one of the driving forces behind the nuclear plants' financial rescue, which added a new fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million a year through 2026 to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo.


Previous attempts to bail out the nuclear plants had stalled in the Legislature before Householder became speaker. Months after taking over, he rolled out a new plan to subsidize the plants and eliminate renewable energy incentives. The proposal was approved a year ago despite opposition from many business leaders and the manufacturing industry.

Generation Now, a group that investigators said was controlled by Householder and successfully fought an effort to put a repeal of the bailout law on Ohio’s ballot, was charged as a corporation in the case.


City of Sydney flicks the switch to 100% green power

Accomplished via Power Purchase Agreements.

All the City of Sydney’s operations – including street lights, pools, sports fields, depots, buildings and the historic Sydney Town Hall – will now be run on 100% renewable electricity sourced from local solar and wind projects. The switch is part of a $60 million deal with electricity retailer Flow Power, the biggest standalone green energy deal of its kind by a council in Australia.

The deal is projected to save the City up to half a million dollars a year over the next 10 years, and reduce carbon emissions by around 20,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent to the power consumption of more than 6,000 households. The City calculates that the new deal will see it reach its 2030 of reducing emissions by 70% by 2024, six years early.


The power purchase agreement will see the City source renewable energy from the 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm in Wagga Wagga, the 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm near Inverell, and the 3 MW Shoalhaven Solar Farm, a not-for profit community-owned solar scheme near Nowra on the south-east NSW coast. The deal will see three-quarters of the City’s power sourced from wind generation and one-quarter from solar.

Posted by Finishline42 | Wed Jul 1, 2020, 02:50 PM (2 replies)

Radioactivity hike seen in northern Europe; source unknown

Haven't seen this anywhere else.

Nordic authorities say they detected slightly increased levels of radioactivity in northern Europe this month that Dutch officials said may be from a source in western Russia and may “indicate damage to a fuel element in a nuclear power plant.”

But Russian news agency TASS, citing a spokesman with the state nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom., reported that the two nuclear power plans in northwestern Russia haven’t reported any problems.

The Leningrad plant near St. Petersburg and the Kola plant near the northern city of Murmansk, “operate normally, with radiation levels being within the norm,” Tass said.

The Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish radiation and nuclear safety watchdogs said this week they’ve spotted small amounts of radioactive isotopes harmless to humans and the environment in parts of Finland, southern Scandinavia and the Arctic.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said Tuesday that “it is not possible now to confirm what could be the source of the increased levels” of radioactivity or from where a cloud, or clouds, containing radioactive isotopes that has allegedly been blowing over the skies of northern Europe originated. Its Finnish and Norwegian counterparts also haven’t speculated about a potential source.

But the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands said Friday it analyzed the Nordic data and “these calculations show that the radionuclides (radioactive isotopes) come from the direction of Western Russia.”

The radionuclides are artificial, that is to say they are man-made. The composition of the nuclides may indicate damage to a fuel element in a nuclear power plant,” the Dutch agency said, adding that ”a specific source location cannot be identified due to the limited number of measurements.

Posted by Finishline42 | Wed Jul 1, 2020, 01:11 PM (7 replies)

I want to share some info RE: V2G - I have some questions

It's an investment advisory on Tesla but I was wondering if it's realistic or he's just a dreamer.

First question relates to this >>>
The Tesla tri-motor Cyber Truck can hold enough electrical energy to power a home for more than one week. And if you run out, you could drive the truck down to a local supercharger, fill up with electrons, drive home and have power for another week of the utility being shut down. In fire country the tri-motor Cyber Truck will sell like hotcakes once V2G is enabled.

Power a home for more than a week? Is this real? I know it depends on how big a house, etc but scale-wise is it even realistic?

2nd Question >>>

To connect existing cars to the grid, Tesla will need to tell customers that when their battery capacity drops to around 75%, they can simply have the battery pack swapped out for a new million-mile battery pack. The money to be made from V2G is so huge for Tesla that I expect Tesla will tell customers this battery swap will be very low cost or even free of charge.

This I completely doubt. Everything I have heard is that it's very difficult to replace the battery pack on a Tesla - but maybe the Cyber-truck is designed differently?

3rd Q >>>

I also expect this is why J.B. Straubel is opening Redwood Materials to recycle lithium ion batteries. Today, there aren't enough batteries to recycle so opening this company makes no sense (to me). But if Tesla opens V2G to all Tesla vehicles, it will begin to generate a lot of batteries in need of recycling. I think they are building the recycling facility they will soon need, in advance of needing it.

This has always been the down the road reality. One of the main points detractors of EV's has been what to do with all the batteries. And the answer is always if there are enough of them somebody will built a business on recycling them.

4th and last Q >>>

It remains to be learned how much income individuals will be given out of the funds derived from the utilities. A friend with 54kWh of Tesla Power Wall batteries said he is supposed to receive around $100/mo for grid services. This means the Tesla Model Y and 3 would earn around $100 per month, the 100kWh Cyber truck will earn around $200/mo and the tri-motor Cyber Truck will earn around $400/mo.

Again I doubt these are real numbers but if they were I doubt that you could count on them staying this high for the life of the vehicle.

Although if you have a Tesla with a million mile battery, it would make it worth keeping long after if was drivable.

link to article.

In the 1st Quarter Ireland Produced almost 50% of elect from Wind

4 new wind farms were brought on line. Wind produced more electricity for 1st time than Natgas.

[link:<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Historic first quarter for Irish wind energy - Wind provided almost half of Ire power in the first quarter & for the 1st time, beat gas into 2nd place as Ire main source of electricity. And 4 new farms, with a combined capacity of 81 MW, were connected. <a href="https://t.co/wOcxnBhqmI">https://t.co/wOcxnBhqmI</a> <a href="https://t.co/AxppedmMMr">pic.twitter.com/AxppedmMMr</a></p>— IWEA - Wind Energy (@IWEA) <a href="https://twitter.com/IWEA/status/1273939592958312449?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 19, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>|

Southern Indiana Utility company - Vectren - announced plan to go from 78% to 12% coal powered

By mid-decade.

The electric utility serving southern Indiana's coal country yesterday announced a plan to transition swiftly from coal to renewable energy as part of a strategy it said would save consumers more than $300 million and slash carbon emissions.

The plan, announced by Vectren Corp., would reduce the utility's reliance on coal from 78% this year to just 12% by middecade.

Vectren, a unit of Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc., is the second Indiana utility to announce a massive shift away from coal in the past two years and comes in spite of intense lobbying by Indiana's coal industry to slow the retirement of aging plants.

In late 2018, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. announced a plan to shut its coal fleet within a decade — most of it by 2023 — and replace much of the capacity with renewables.

Vectren's announcement is similar. Under a "preferred portfolio" that's the core of a 20-year integrated resource plan (IRP), the utility would shutter most of its coal-fired generation by 2023 and add more than 1,000 megawatts of wind energy and solar, some of which would be paired with battery storage.


The plan does call for adding 460 MW of combustion gas turbines in 2024 and continuing to operate the 270-MW Culley 3 coal unit.


Britain to set a record of not using coal for 2 months

Largest coal plant now burning wood pellets that come from the US.

Britain is about to pass a significant landmark - at midnight on Wednesday it will have gone two full months without burning coal to generate power.

A decade ago about 40% of the country's electricity came from coal; coronavirus is part of the story, but far from all.

When Britain went into lockdown, electricity demand plummeted; the National Grid responded by taking power plants off the network.

The four remaining coal-fired plants were among the first to be shut down.

The last coal generator came off the system at midnight on 9 April. No coal has been burnt for electricity since.

The current coal-free period smashes the previous record of 18 days, 6 hours and 10 minutes which was set in June last year.


Two examples illustrate just how much the UK's energy networks have changed.

A decade ago just 3% of the country's electricity came from wind and solar, which many people saw as a costly distraction.

Now the UK has the biggest offshore wind industry in the world, as well as the largest single wind farm, completed off the coast of Yorkshire last year.

At the same time Drax, the country's biggest power plant, has been taking a different path to renewable energy.

The plant, which is also in Yorkshire, generates 5% of the country's electricity.

A decade ago, it was the biggest consumer of coal in the UK but has been switching to compressed wood pellets.


Breaking it down, renewables were responsible for 37% of electricity supplied to the network versus 35% for fossil fuels.

Nuclear accounted for about 18% and imports for the remaining 10% or so, according to figures from the online environmental journal, Carbon Brief.


There's a bar graph showing the breakdown for low-carbon energy sources world wide in 2018 by EIA. Shows Wind to be 46% compared Nuclear.
Posted by Finishline42 | Tue Jun 9, 2020, 08:56 AM (1 replies)

New Tesla Plant

So a report broke last week that the new plant was going near Austin but then some sources came out and said Tulsa is also in the running (maybe just to get a better deal with Austin?)

Plant is for Model Y and the CyberTruck.

Both locations have plenty of wind power. I have read where in Texas a problem exist that there is an excess of wind at night. Guess who makes batteries? And will be a big user of electricity?

A source familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla has chosen Austin, Texas, for its next factory, and it’s going to happen quickly.

The race to secure Tesla’s next factory is apparently over.

According to a reliable source familiar with the matter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is set on bringing the next Tesla Gigafactory, or now Terafactory, to Austin, or at least close to the city.

The people familiar with the project said that Musk has tasked the engineering team working at Gigafactory Nevada to start the process for the new factory, which is expected to make the Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup truck and the Model Y.

Tesla’s CEO also reportedly wants to move extremely fast.

We are told that the decision for the site is not set in stone since Tesla was apparently given a few options in the greater Austin area, but Musk is said to want to start construction extremely soon and aims to have Model Y vehicles coming out of the plant by the end of the year.

It would be an even more aggressive timeline than Gigafactory Shanghai.


Form Energy claims its aqueous air battery provides 150-hour duration storage

Game changer if this proves out in a cost competitive manner, although 'aqueous air battery' makes me think it's pumped storage?

The holy grail of energy storage has always been low-cost and long-duration. Form Energy intends on deploying a 1 MW/150 MWh system with a Minnesota utility before 2023, an unprecedented energy storage duration if successful.

Form Energy, a secretive, long-duration energy storage startup funded by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and other investors is unstealthing — sort of.

The company has revealed that its fundamental energy storage technology is an “aqueous air battery system” that “leverages some of the safest, cheapest, most abundant materials on the planet” in order to commercially deploy a 1 MW/150 MWh long-duration storage solution.

Typical lithium ion battery storage systems provide four hours of storage compared to Form’s remarkable of 150 hours of storage. It’s not exactly the “seasonal” storage that Mateo Jaramillo, CEO of Form Energy, had spoken of in the past — but it’s a few orders of magnitude better than what can be done today.

(Although the term, “aqueous air battery system,” leaves us little more informed about the startup’s technology than when it was stealthed.)

The CEO, an energy storage veteran, has referred to the company’s product as a “bi-directional power plant” and claims that this level of duration allows for “a fundamentally new reliability function to be provided to the grid from storage, one historically only available from thermal generation resources.”

Form Energy’s first commercial project is a 1 MW, grid-connected storage system capable of delivering its rated power continuously for 150 hours with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy.

Great River Energy is a not-for-profit wholesale electric power cooperative that provides electricity to 28 member-owner distribution cooperatives, serving 700,000 families, farms and businesses. It’s Minnesota’s second-largest electric utility.


Texas could add 3.5 GW of solar this year

Texas could add 3.5 GW of solar this year

(just for reference ERCOT had 2,281 MW of solar at the end of 2019) (edited to correct GW to MW)

Solar capacity in the ERCOT grid region has the “potential” to reach 5.8 GW this year, said ERCOT in its annual “State of the Grid” report. ERCOT serves nearly all of Texas.

Solar capacity in ERCOT has room to grow, as it met less than 2% of the grid’s load last year. Wind power met 20% of the grid’s load, with wind capacity at 24 GW and potentially rising to 33 GW this year. Wind and solar generation developers submitted a “record number of interconnection requests” last year, the report said, and “with more solar projects coming online, wind and solar power have begun to complement each other.”

Solar additions this year should also help serve peak load, which exceeded 74 GW last August 12, and which ERCOT expects to reach just under 77 GW this summer.


ERCOT also created a battery energy storage task force, and staff began exploring technical requirements, modeling needs and market rules for battery storage. Battery storage capacity in the ERCOT region stood at 104 MW in 2019 “and is on track to exceed 350 MW by the end of 2020,” said the report.

Posted by Finishline42 | Mon May 4, 2020, 11:04 AM (6 replies)
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