Skip to comments.Did Frozen Wind Turbines Impact the Texas Freeze? Here's the Data
Posted on 02/18/2021 8:00:09 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Wednesday morning more than 1.3 million electric power customers across Texas remain without power during the coldest winter storm in decades. Gov. Greg Abbott put all of Texas’ 254 counties under a disaster declaration as the state has been hammered with a series of major and historic winter storms. The reasons for the collapse of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid are still being debated, and it’s certain that there is more than one cause and more information will come out.
But one of the most contested issues is the role wind generation has played. Prior to the onset of the storm last week, Texas led the nation in wind power generation and depended on the wind turbines in West-Central and Western Texas, along with a smaller number of turbines along the Gulf Coast, for about 25% of its electricity. As wind power has increased, coal-powered generation plants have been taken offline around the state. Texas has abundant coal, oil, and natural gas, and also has nuclear plants near Dallas and near Houston.
Real-time data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that wind power collapsed as the winter storm swept across the state.
EIA data showing the collapse of wind power generation in Texas’ winter storm.
To understand the graph, the very top line, beige, is natural gas power generation. Hydroelectric is the barely perceptible blue line at the bottom. Wind is the green line; coal is brown. Nuclear power is purple.
The graph clearly shows all forms of power generation dipped, with wind power collapsing from Monday to Tuesday before recovering somewhat. Meanwhile, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power generation also dipped but continued generating power.
(Excerpt) Read more at pjmedia.com ...
The cold has created extreme demand across the state. During most winter storms, the Panhandle, West Texas, and even North Texas around Dallas and above toward Paris may get cold but Central and South Texas could remain well above freezing. This has not happened during the current series of storms. The entire state is in a deep freeze, with snow appearing even on Galveston Island’s beach. Galveston averages lows of about 50 degrees and highs in the mid-60s during a typical February.
So the question is: How much money was wasted on those giant bird-choppers that instead ought to have been directed toward improving the reliability of the infrastructure and adding capacity to more reliable energy sources?
They would blight miles of landscape with these ridiculous things and only get 25% of their power from them? One nuclear plant would top that, and be cleaner.
Heard where the greenie’s want to build more wind turbines and other “renewable” energy sources so freezing cold won’t cause this problem again.
i read it as the windmills were part of the problem, not part of a solution as intended ..
It looks like there is 1.5 fold the energy being generated than two weeks ago.
Why are there power outages?
I was told yesterday that the windmill turbines “froze” because this far south, somewhat as a cost-saving measure, they are not equipped with the blade de-ice features of more northern windmills.
The windmills and solar panels ARE the problem. They worked as designed by the left and that is to make electrical energy scarce, unreliable and expensive.
Way more than a 1.5 fold increase in the demand for energy with these kinds of temps. Having the heat going full blast for hours on end day after day to fight single digit temps is not a normal Texas phenomena.
The problem is that we as a nation listened to the Democrats.
We appeased them with their green energy.
They didn’t really care about power generation.
It was all about money laundering.
Billions of dollars to green energy that passed right on through them to The Democrat Party Organized Crime Syndicate.
Can you graph the temperature with the energy use?
What is the story in Arkansas and Louisiana?
Coal and nuclear plants didn't reduce output because of the cold. With the disappearance of wind, the entire grid stability was put at serious risk and had the potential to completely collapse state-wide. ERCOT managed that problem by forcing load shedding ("rolling blackouts") to get overall load in balance with available supply.
Coal and nuclear generally work fine in cold weather as long as the plants were designed for it. Heavier insulation, larger heating systems, and heat trace—use of an electrical heating element in direct contact with a component—can be added to protect against freezing temperatures in cold weather climates. But these might not have been adequate for the very low and prolonged cold temperatures.
Coal deliveries can be interrupted in extreme cold and existing coal piles on the power plant site can freeze interrupting transfer to the silos in the plant. Plants in the north routinely stockpile additional coal to get through the winter.
Here's an irony. Ice will form and interfere with the blades of the cooling tower fans. Although the load on the fans is minimal during winter months, they must continue to rotate to keep air flowing nonetheless.
Various buildings on a site may not have any heat. Cold-climate utilities have installed diesel-fueled heaters to heat those buildings. If those weren't installed in anticipation of a deep-freeze, it would be hard to procure and install them when the freeze is hitting.
That's enough of the boring power plant details for you, but you get the idea. You have to prepare for cold before it hits. Operators in northern and high-elevation climates know this but Texas got hit with a rare cold snap. How much to you invest for freeze-protection for a rare event?
The far better approach would have been to keep the coal and lignite plants operating (instead of forcing them to shut down) and never have installed windmills. Or build the needed backup generation for the times you KNOW those wind turbines are going to stop turning. But installing the needed wind backup would be expensive and would expose the fallacy that wind is economically competitive.
The most salient point of the article.
What’s Hidin’ Biden and FEMA?
Maybe, if they would have put the same type of gear oil in the gear boxes used in Minnesota and North Dakota wind turbines, they would have still continued to generate electricity.
Having crossed the country several times, I’ve encountered many wind farms.
By actual count, with my eyes or those of my passenger, firsthand field observations, in almost all arrays, at least ten percent and as many as 15 percent of the turbines are not functioning.
That is, at least 10% of the capital investment is wasted
“I say we send Fred up the ladder with a BIC lighter to thaw it out.”
I found this article from The Federalist a good explanation of what happened.
“It appears that ERCOT, TexasÃ¢ÂÂs grid operator, was caught off guard by how soon demand began to exceed supply. Failure to institute a managed rolling blackout before the grid frequency fell to dangerously low levels meant some plants had to shut off to protect their equipment. This is likely why so many power plants went offline, not because they had failed to maintain operations in the cold weather.”
That a tiny picture view. The big picture is that we shut down 95,000 MWs of reliable 24/7/365 coal baseload over the last ten years. We sacrificed it for UNRELIABLE green energy that shuts down when the wind doesn’t blow, when the sun doesn’t shine, and when it gets too cold. That simply doesn’t happen with baseload coal or nuclear, it will run through all weather conditions.
Ignorant people made stupid decisions and everyone in the baseload energy industry, like me, isn’t surprised at all by what happened.
The biggest nuclear loss was a turbine trip at the South Texas plant when a main turbine feed pump tripped due to failure of a water pressure sensing line. That killed 1275 MegaWatts , but it was not a “nuclear safety issue.”
Windpower lost three ways: ice covered the blades, so they not turn safely, became unbalanced, and could not be deiced safely without helicopiand chemical sprays. When the storm was passing through, they overspend and had to be shutdown.
As usual. After the storm passed, as usual, the calmer clear freezing air shut them down automatically because there was no winds for 2 days.
Natural gas turbines were shutdown deliberately by regulation (law) to allow the natural gas left in the lines to go to houses and buildings.
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