What do we know about investments in the electric power industry. Companies must have funds available. Are they spending it wisely?
We certainly hear of defficiencies in California, Hawaii, and Texas. How about the rest of the US? Is the grid adapting to changes in source locations? We hear of long wait times for new projects to connect to the grid.
- Texas is the problem because of the tremendous HVAC loads during summer heat domes and freak winter polar vortex phenomena. Texas is adding lots of solar and wind generation, but Texas is hampered with very limited access to Western and Eastern grids. Another Texas problem is that natural gas power generation is dependent on reliable natural gas supply to the power plants which has not been the case for several years.
- Hawaii is a problem because they are so isolated and dependent on imported fossil fuels. They have not built the renewables needed to have adequate reserve of electrical power.
- California is much better off because of the leadership role of CASIO to get many of the Western Grid utilities/grids to join an alliance for sharing generation capacity and building grid interconnects. California continues to support and fund new generation outside California and new grid connections.
In the future the Eastern grid will face much higher generation demand due to need for more HVAC to cool homes and businesses during heat domes.
I saw a recent news item that Texas is using batteries to help with the intermittant problem of wind and solar.
In Hawaii there were reports a few years ago they had so much solar it threatened support of the grid. They were restricting solar access to the grid.
California’s biggest grid problem are the high power lines long ago put up stringing along through lower altitude forests that were already drying out and ecologically changing starting about 40 years ago. GCC has made that radically worse.
They need to radicallly improve clearance under and near those lines, and then push into rerouting and undergrounding for the long term.
PG&E is being told by the PUC to not spend so much on undergrounding
(Today’s WSJ, sorry no link)
Because undergrounding in mountainous terrain is terribly expensive. Far better to spend less money on clearance of the right of ways and maintenance of the existing lines to get similar results in less time.
Save undergrounding for new lines, at least for now.
Thanks for the heads up.
No surprise. Dem or GOP, lib or con, almost no politician wants to invest in crucial infrastructure if it costs voters even a penny, and no one will take on the nature of that stupidity.
May as well be Mexico, where I live now. As my husband says “At least here the corruption and idiocy are totally transparent.”
20 times by now
We do it for NG pipelines. But through the hillsides of the northeast.
They are in the US too. Costs more and nothing gets done.