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#15228178
Vast Swath of US at Risk of Summer Blackouts, Regulator Warns

Drought, plant closures and supply-chain woes threaten electric grid

Bloomberg, May 18, 2022
By Naureen S Malik and David R Baker

A vast swath of North America from the Great Lakes to the West Coast is at risk of blackouts this summer as heat, drought, shuttered power plants and supply-chain woes strain the electric grid.

Power supplies in much of the US and part of Canada will be stretched, with demand growing again after two years of pandemic disruptions, according to an annual report. It’s among the most dire assessments yet from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, a regulatory body that oversees grid stability.

“It’s a pretty sobering report, and it’s clear the risks are spreading,” John Moura, director of reliability assessment and performance analysis, said in a press briefing. “I certainly do think it's our most cautionary tale here.”

Climate change is partly to blame. A historic drought is covering the western US, limiting supplies of hydroelectric power, and forecasts call for a hotter-than-average summer. But the fight against global warming poses its own risks as older coal-fired plants close faster than wind farms, solar facilities and batteries can replace them.

“The pace of our grid transformation is out of sync” with the physical realities of the existing power network, Moura said.

Supply-chain snags, meanwhile, are delaying Southwest solar projects and Texas transmission lines, while coal plants are having trouble obtaining fuel amid increased exports. And power grids face a growing threat of cyberattacks because of US support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion, according to NERC.

Electricity supplies will be particularly tight in the Midwest. Across the region, enough older plants have shut down to cut generation capacity 2.3% since last summer. Demand, however, is expected to grow. Even when temperatures are normal, grid managers may need power from neighboring regions to keep air conditioners humming, and a heat wave or low wind speeds could trigger blackouts, according to the report. NERC had previously warned the Midwest could face power shortfalls as plants close, but not until 2024. The region also is missing a key transmission line damaged by a December tornado, with repairs expected to wrap up in June.

Early retirement of fossil fuel plants is an issue in other parts of the US as well. The coal and natural gas plants that continue to operate are running harder, and NERC expects them to break down more often, Moura said. The gas-fired plants in Texas that shut unexpectedly late last week during a spring heat wave underscore that risk, he said.

Throughout the West, drought will limit the output from hydroelectric dams. It even threatens power plants that draw their cooling water from the Missouri River, which is running low, according to the report. Wildfires amplified by the drought could darken skies with smoke, cutting the output from solar plants while simultaneously forcing homes with rooftop solar panels to rely more on the grid.

Last year, NERC issued a warning that was nearly as grim, saying electric grids that serve more than 40% of the U.S. population were at risk of outages. In the end, most systems held up during the heat. One notable exception was in the Pacific Northwest, where Avista Corp. resorted to rolling blackouts during a unrelenting June heat wave, leaving more than 9,000 homes and businesses without power.

Some of the states cited in the report have already issued their own summer forecasts, some more upbeat than others. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said in a Monday report that the state — which endured a deadly, days-long blackout last year during a winter storm — has enough power to meet expected record demand from June through September, although some analysts called the report too optimistic.

“We feel very confident about summer; our reserves have gone up,” said Brad Jones, Ercot's interim chief executive officer, during a press briefing Tuesday. Still, when supplies are strained, Texans will be asked to conserve earlier than they were in the past, Jones said. “I hope that each of you will turn to conservation as a way to both lower your bill as well as to help all of us in the market.”

California’s grid operators, in contrast, have warned that the state faces a risk of blackouts during the next three summers as the state shifts to cleaner energy. Hydropower generation has shrunk with the drought, older gas-burning plants have closed, and electricity supplies grow strained on hot summer evenings when the sun sets on the state’s many solar plants.

“We know that reliability is going to be difficult in this time of transition,” said Alice Reynolds, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, during a May 6 press conference.

— With assistance by Mark Chediak

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ator-warns
#15228186
BlutoSays wrote:Vast Swath of US at Risk of Summer Blackouts, Regulator Warns

Drought, plant closures and supply-chain woes threaten electric grid

Bloomberg, May 18, 2022
By Naureen S Malik and David R Baker

A vast swath of North America from the Great Lakes to the West Coast is at risk of blackouts this summer as heat, drought, shuttered power plants and supply-chain woes strain the electric grid.

Power supplies in much of the US and part of Canada will be stretched, with demand growing again after two years of pandemic disruptions, according to an annual report. It’s among the most dire assessments yet from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, a regulatory body that oversees grid stability.

“It’s a pretty sobering report, and it’s clear the risks are spreading,” John Moura, director of reliability assessment and performance analysis, said in a press briefing. “I certainly do think it's our most cautionary tale here.”

Climate change is partly to blame. A historic drought is covering the western US, limiting supplies of hydroelectric power, and forecasts call for a hotter-than-average summer. But the fight against global warming poses its own risks as older coal-fired plants close faster than wind farms, solar facilities and batteries can replace them.

“The pace of our grid transformation is out of sync” with the physical realities of the existing power network, Moura said.

Supply-chain snags, meanwhile, are delaying Southwest solar projects and Texas transmission lines, while coal plants are having trouble obtaining fuel amid increased exports. And power grids face a growing threat of cyberattacks because of US support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion, according to NERC.

Electricity supplies will be particularly tight in the Midwest. Across the region, enough older plants have shut down to cut generation capacity 2.3% since last summer. Demand, however, is expected to grow. Even when temperatures are normal, grid managers may need power from neighboring regions to keep air conditioners humming, and a heat wave or low wind speeds could trigger blackouts, according to the report. NERC had previously warned the Midwest could face power shortfalls as plants close, but not until 2024. The region also is missing a key transmission line damaged by a December tornado, with repairs expected to wrap up in June.

Early retirement of fossil fuel plants is an issue in other parts of the US as well. The coal and natural gas plants that continue to operate are running harder, and NERC expects them to break down more often, Moura said. The gas-fired plants in Texas that shut unexpectedly late last week during a spring heat wave underscore that risk, he said.

Throughout the West, drought will limit the output from hydroelectric dams. It even threatens power plants that draw their cooling water from the Missouri River, which is running low, according to the report. Wildfires amplified by the drought could darken skies with smoke, cutting the output from solar plants while simultaneously forcing homes with rooftop solar panels to rely more on the grid.

Last year, NERC issued a warning that was nearly as grim, saying electric grids that serve more than 40% of the U.S. population were at risk of outages. In the end, most systems held up during the heat. One notable exception was in the Pacific Northwest, where Avista Corp. resorted to rolling blackouts during a unrelenting June heat wave, leaving more than 9,000 homes and businesses without power.

Some of the states cited in the report have already issued their own summer forecasts, some more upbeat than others. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said in a Monday report that the state — which endured a deadly, days-long blackout last year during a winter storm — has enough power to meet expected record demand from June through September, although some analysts called the report too optimistic.

“We feel very confident about summer; our reserves have gone up,” said Brad Jones, Ercot's interim chief executive officer, during a press briefing Tuesday. Still, when supplies are strained, Texans will be asked to conserve earlier than they were in the past, Jones said. “I hope that each of you will turn to conservation as a way to both lower your bill as well as to help all of us in the market.”

California’s grid operators, in contrast, have warned that the state faces a risk of blackouts during the next three summers as the state shifts to cleaner energy. Hydropower generation has shrunk with the drought, older gas-burning plants have closed, and electricity supplies grow strained on hot summer evenings when the sun sets on the state’s many solar plants.

“We know that reliability is going to be difficult in this time of transition,” said Alice Reynolds, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, during a May 6 press conference.

— With assistance by Mark Chediak

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ator-warns



Capitalism at work, market failure. These are private companies.

Blackouts are Good for profits.
#15228867
Rancid wrote::roll: These kinds of posts are fucking stupid. Basically, there's incompetence on both parties.

Anyway, down here in conservative Texas, we have summer blackouts all the fucking time.

Mainly because we have a bunch fo fucking corrupt asshole morons running the state.

I experienced this in Cuba - blackouts.

I thought it was because of sanctions, but I guess even the countries that do the sanctionning (with 20 times the GDP per capita) are affected.

Enron Nation, go forward with stock-runs and fabricated crises.
#15228869
This is not entirely partisan. Republicans are worse than Dems, but that much goes without saying.

Excluding the military, pick a part of government. Any part. It all needed updating 40 years ago, and things have just gotten worse since.

It's the power grid, but it's health care and the entire justice system from street cops on up, it's roads and cities and education and..

We are some number of trillions behind on the power grid. We need national standards (and money to help local grids implement them), money to finish R&D on the Smart Grid, an actual plan to make clean electricity for the EVs that are coming.

There's no magic, if you want a future that doesn't suck, you have to build it.
#15228885
QatzelOk wrote:I experienced this in Cuba - blackouts.

I thought it was because of sanctions, but I guess even the countries that do the sanctionning (with 20 times the GDP per capita) are affected.

Enron Nation, go forward with stock-runs and fabricated crise


In the case of Texas, it's due to de-regulation and the fact Texas operates its own independent grid. The reason it is independent is that it allows Texas to not follow federal regulations. This means Texas power generators/operators and distributors do the bare minimum to maintain the robustness of the system. For this reason, every summer I've lived in Texas (been here for well over a decade now), we often get orders to reduce power consumption (they tell us to raise the thermostat, and to not run things like washing machines and dryers.). Orders from our freedom loving republican government...humm... In some of those high demand scenarios we've had rolling blackouts. Then we had the winter storm the winter before last where I was without power for 5 days in temperatures that were below freezing for like 4 days straight or so, I was lucky enough to not lose water, but many people I know, lost water for 5 days. Again, the Texas operators don't give a shit, they run the bare minimum ship they can which is not ready for extreme weather. They place profits over people.

Then we have Abbot our asshole governor claiming the winter power loss was due ot wind energy, when it wasn't. It was something like 60% of gas generators were taken out during the storm. On top of that, gas producers were selling the gas out of state instead of diverting it to the gas operators in a fucking emergency situation Fuck all of those assholes, they should all be in prison..

This state is full of a bunch of fucking morons.

BUt hey, if you are @BlutoSays , even a Republican failure in Texas is Bidens fault. :roll:

Biden biden biden...

dems dems dems..

WIth this kind of retarded thinking, nothing will get better.
#15228889
Rancid wrote:In the case of Texas, it's due to de-regulation and the fact Texas operates its own independent grid. The reason it is independent is that it allows Texas to not follow federal regulations. This means Texas power generators/operators and distributors do the bare minimum to maintain the robustness of the system. For this reason, every summer I've lived in Texas (been here for well over a decade now), we often get orders to reduce power consumption (they tell us to raise the thermostat, and to not run things like washing machines and dryers.). Orders from our freedom loving republican government...humm... In some of those high demand scenarios we've had rolling blackouts. Then we had the winter storm the winter before last where I was without power for 5 days in temperatures that were below freezing for like 4 days straight or so, I was lucky enough to not lose water, but many people I know, lost water for 5 days. Again, the Texas operators don't give a shit, they run the bare minimum ship they can which is not ready for extreme weather. They place profits over people.

Then we have Abbot our asshole governor claiming the winter power loss was due ot wind energy, when it wasn't. It was something like 60% of gas generators were taken out during the storm. On top of that, gas producers were selling the gas out of state instead of diverting it to the gas operators in a fucking emergency situation Fuck all of those assholes, they should all be in prison..

This state is full of a bunch of fucking morons.

BUt hey, if you are @BlutoSays , even a Republican failure in Texas is Bidens fault. :roll:

Biden biden biden...

dems dems dems..

WIth this kind of retarded thinking, nothing will get better.

Things aren’t meant to get better, @Rancid. The Republicans have clearly decided that they prefer to burn America to the ground, so long as they get to rule over the ashes….
#15229564
Potemkin wrote:Image
"Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder."

Most world wars are chaos-ladders for corrupt elites in the nations involved.

Oligarchy says: "When in danger of being caught, simply burn down the house."

Oligarchs always have at least three other houses in which to live (multiple nationalities and purchased residencies). The working class will just die, or be scarred by fear into passivity.
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