If You Have Megawatts of Wind Power, What More Do You Need?

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The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) classifies windmills as an intermittent renewable resource. This resource, windmills, is categorized as intermittent.

Wind power is considered highly intermittent and non-dispatchable because it is a variable power source, meaning that its electrical output depends on many factors, such as wind speed, air densityturbine characteristics, and more. All of these factors also change depending on location of the site. Wind speed must also be in a certain range (depending on the turbine), above 3.5 m/s in order to generate electricity, and below 25 m/s to avoid damage to the turbine. When taking multiple wind farm’s intermittency into consideration, it would make sense that the reliability would somewhat increase, but this actually doesn’t appear to be the case.

University of Calgary – Energy Education

In the great state of Texas, free markets have, until recent years, yielded low-cost energy to consumers. No more. The artificially low price of wind and solar energy are only possible because your Texas State Legislature subsidizes them with billion$ of your tax dollars.

Access to inexpensive and reliable energy has helped make America the most prosperous nation in the history of the world, with Texas front and center in this effort.

Our state was originally powered largely by renewable fuels: water, wind, and biomass. It wasn’t long, though, before renewables were replaced by more efficient coal and kerosene, and later by gasoline, aviation fuel, natural gas, and nuclear power.

Texas Public Policy Foundation – Renewable energy’s success has come at the expense of Texas taxpayers May 1, 2019

Here in Texas, the hottest time of the year – July and August – is also the time of the year when electricity demand is highest but wind supply is lowest.

As millions of Texans sweated through a heatwave last summer, the electric grid was pushed to its limits. Power demand surged to a record high. Texas wind generation — which provides more than 20% of the state’s power — flopped.

Because wind turbines don’t operate in the still air of July, reserve margins evaporated. Officials with ERCOT, the state’s main power supplier, looked on in disbelief as electricity prices spiked from the normal range of $20 to $30 per megawatt-hour to $9,000 not once but twice.

Wind farms are proliferating in Texas and throughout the Great Plains. But wind energy supplies power only when the wind blows, and as more wind farms are added to regional grids, their productivity declines. 

The Detroit News | Opinion: Electricity reliability on a tightrope June 3, 2020

If you have megawatts of wind power, what more do you need? You need megawatts of reliable non-intermittent electrical power supplied by coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants.

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John White


Published by John White

A lifetime (over 50 years) of experiences with automation and control systems ranging from aerospace navigation, radar, and ordinance delivery systems to the world's first robotic drilling machine for the oil patch, to process-control systems, energy management systems and general problem-solving. At present, my focus is on self-funding HVAC retrofit projects and indoor air quality with a view to preventing infections from airborne pathogens.

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