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midcontinent independent system operator

Managing Utility Bills with Automation and Information

By Energy Rant No Comments
Another week and we have two more dire warning shots of forecast blackouts this summer. These come from The Wall Street Journal and describe challenges from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region to California. Michigan’s Palisades Nuclear Generating Station shut down permanently on May 20th taking out 6.5% (800 MW) of the state’s electricity supply (gulp). The Journal notes it is part of Michigan’s transition to all renewable energy. They also write that it was slated for closure for five years, but Governor Whitmer waited to throw a last-minute Hail Mary just one month before closure to the federal...
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Blistering Wind and Solar Energy

By Energy Rant No Comments
Grid reliability issues are upon us, and they will become more severe and disruptive in the next 10-20 years. But first, why is this happening? If governments mandated things in medicine[1] as they do with the grid, they would declare that chemotherapy will phase out by 2030 and cancer will be cured by 2035. Period. Because they said so. Meantime, we will have to deal with the deleterious effects of forced fantasies, so let’s get to work on that. The transition to high penetrations of renewable energy will increase in cost exponentially, as I wrote a year ago in Answer:...
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Weaponized Energy by Xi and Putin

By Energy Rant No Comments
This week I’m going to my news stack, starting with an interesting article from Zerohedge - How Far are We from Phasing out Coal. Answer: a long way and getting longer. CCP’s Exploding Coal Fleet Coal-fired power generation jumped 9% in 2021, to an all-time high. That increase is the biggest leap since I was in Ha Skewl and the DeLorean was hot. How is coal consumption growing worldwide today? The Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They continue to build and fire huge coal plants with zero reservation (or pollution control). The difference between governors and the governed in the U.S....
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The Power Grid’s Glide Path to Reckoning

By Energy Rant No Comments
“The U.S. electrical system is becoming less dependable. The problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.” – The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2022. I can take down another one of my seven predictions for 2022. Some numbers from the WSJ: in 2000, there were fewer than two dozen major disruptions. In 2020 there were more than 180. Customers experienced over eight hours of disruption (on average) in 2020, more than double the number in 2013 when the government began tracking this metric. The Journal reports several reasons for the rickety grid. The Markets’ Disincentives for Reliability...
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Years of Dominos Fall in Texas

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week when the Rant “went to press,” which is to say, when I wrote it Saturday, the arctic blast was merely a cold shot of weather like I have experienced dozens of times. I didn’t start seeing the chaos in the south until Monday. It was an avoidable tragedy caused by many things over many years. Some places lost water supply and wastewater treatment. A colleague sent me the first picture below from a friend in the Dallas area. Here in the Midwest, we might think that’s an innovative way to keep beer cold at a house party. In...
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Regulating Deregulation and Wind’s Other Big Subsidy

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Last week we examined the startup of deregulation, why a competitive market for electricity is difficult and early failures. This week, we look at the price impacts and some long-term implications of deregulation. It seemed to me that deregulation of the electricity market had been a disaster: bankruptcies, soaring prices, and most recently, stranded baseload assets. There was a lot of evidence in that, but lately, prices have improved, but other challenges are emerging. Deregulation’s Impact on Pricing I realized that searching for comprehensive data showing the impact on electricity costs for regulated versus deregulated is impossible. Lucky for you,...
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