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Batteries GE Wind Products GM Keith Longtin showcases the Brilliant 1.6-100's Predictive Power Analytics; Credit: A. Burger/Clean Technica

Published on July 1st, 2013 | by Andrew

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GE’s Brilliant Wind Turbine — Wind Power Cheaper Than Coal Or Natural Gas (Part 3)

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July 1st, 2013 by  

This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on GE’s Brilliant 1.6-100 wind turbine. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 or the rest of our GE Brilliant Wind Turbine archives for more on the Brilliant 1.6-100 wind turbine.

GE Research Wind Turbine Testing Site at Tehachapi. Credit: A. Burger/CleanTechnica

GE Research Wind Turbine Testing Site at Tehachapi.
Credit: A. Burger/CleanTechnica

Big Data And The Industrial Internet Meet In The GE Brilliant 1.6-100

Impressively, everything spinning on the Tehachapi hills at GE’s Power & Wind research site continues to supply clean, renewable electricity to the Southern California Edison (SCE) grid. This includes a prototype of the 1.6-100’s predecessor, the GE 1.5-77 wind turbine, which has been up, running, and supplying electricity to SCE customers in LA and other parts of southern California for well over a decade.

“We’ve made incredible gains since acquiring the property,” Longtin stated, pointing out that today’s GE turbines are operating at close to 98% availability (97.6%), the same as a thermal coal plant. Furthermore, he continued, “with the introduction of the 1.6-100, we’ve also improved the capacity factor (a measure of energy efficiency) from 35% ten years ago to over 50% today.” Over 50% capacity factor is far above the capacity factor that most people think of when they think of wind turbines. Clearly, very significant strides have been made to get to such a high percentage.

GE Wind Products GM Keith Longtin showcases the Brilliant 1.6-100's Predictive Power Analytics; Credit: A. Burger/Clean Technica

GE Wind Products GM Keith Longtin showcases the Brilliant 1.6-100’s Predictive Power Analytics.
Credit: A. Burger/CleanTechnica

Contributing to the boost in turbine availability and efficiency, GE’s Brilliant 1.6-100 captures and converts more wind energy at lower (Class 3) wind speeds, which, by definition, blow at 7.5 meters per second (m/s).

These and other wind turbine advances and enhancements translate into more clean, renewable, wind-generated electricity at far lower cost. Now 12 years old, GE’s 1.5-77 turbine has generated enough clean, renewable electricity to supply some 350 California homes with electricity.

The Brilliant 1.6-100 doubles down on that, producing enough for 700. Moreover, GE has also made great strides in terms of increasing the scale of its manufacturing capabilities. Producing 10 wind turbines per week ten years’ ago, GE is now producing 13 per day.

Integral to achieving all this has been the development of more precise, accurate, robust, and responsive wind energy forecasting algorithms and real-time wind turbine networking, diagnostic, and power management systems — in other words, an industrial Internet.

GE Power & Wind monitors, collects and analyzes real-time and historical data spanning some 18,000 of its total fleet of around 22,000 installed wind turbines, including all the GE 2.5-100 turbines installed at the Shepherds Flat wind farm in Oregon, which, at 845 MW (the scale of a nuclear power plant), is the world’s largest.

Wind Power: Cleaner and Cheaper Than Coal or Natural Gas

The overall cost to grid operators of integrating wind-generated electricity onto their grids now ranges between $1 and $7 per megawatt-hour (MWh), according to the US Department of Energy.

Taken together, all the technological advances and incremental improvements GE and other wind energy industry participants have made over the years have come together and driven the cost of wind energy down 60%, to the point where wind-generated electricity can now be integrated onto the grid at an unsubsidized cost of $0.05–$0.07 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), according to Longtin.

Five to seven US cents per kWh is right in line with the cost of electricity produced by existing thermal coal power plants (and less than the projected cost of electricity from new coal power plants). The median cost of electricity from natural gas combined-cycle power plants is $0.05 and the median for natural gas combustion turbines is $0.07. The big, big plus is that you get all that energy without all the emissions, land and water contamination, and overall environmental impact and footprint associated with coal and natural gas production and power generation.

That means avoiding an awful lot in the way of catastrophic environmental health and safety risks and costs that can span decades or more — costs in terms of health, environmental quality, and dollars and cents that invariably and ultimately wind up being picked up by the tax-paying public and those that suffer directly and indirectly from the effects of coal and natural gas power.

With its Brilliant line of wind power turbines and energy management systems, GE Wind & Power aims to keep the momentum going by taking advantage of improvements in battery storage, as well as the Big Data–driven wind energy system design, management, and integration capabilities afforded by an industrial Internet.

Ramp Control + Predictive Power Analytics + Short-Term Grid Storage = A Solution For Intermittent Wind Energy

Wind power generation accounted for over 40% of newly installed electrical power generation capacity in the US in 2012, Longtin noted. “Wind energy is competitive today with thermal coal or combined-cycle gas power plants. The question now, given we have a competitive asset, is what’s next?”

For GE Power & Water, the answer is embodied in the Brilliant 1.6-100’s combination of Ramp Control, Predictive Power Analytics, and Frequency Regulation.

Shot of the GE Brilliant 1.6-100 turbine from ground level. Credit: A. Burger/CleanTechnica

Shot of the GE Brilliant 1.6-100 turbine from ground level.
Credit: A. Burger/CleanTechnica

According to Longtin and team, with the 1.6-100, GE has a wind power systems platform that can not only be customized to meet the needs of wind power system owners and operators across the country, but can reliably supply wind-generated electricity to grid operators at a cost that matches, if not beats, the cost of electricity delivered by conventional thermal coal and natural gas power plants.

In testing at Tehachapi for over one year now, and with the first commercial installations in the works, the Brilliant 1.6-100 is GE’s first shot at solving the problems posed by wind energy’s intermittent nature. The results thus far are encouraging. “We’re very pleased where this is going,” Longtin commented. “We think we have a really good solution.”

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About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.



  • http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171598 BeachbikerCA

    The biggest obstacle to overcome, with this and anything else positive, progressive and beneficial to the country– or even the planet– is the Republican Party.

  • http://irsmartt.com/ IR Smartt

    THIS IS AWESOME NEWS! CONGRATS GE!!!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Left side of your keyboard. CapsLock. Looks like someone snuck in your house and turned it on.

      • http://irsmartt.com/ IR Smartt

        Just excited to see some positive moves from them on the renewables front.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Understood. Me too.

          Things are looking quite good at the moment.

        • Dan Hue

          It does start to feel like the cat is out of the bag. Good news on the battery front too, with what seems to be a breakthrough with real short term (7 years) potential: http://gm-volt.com/2013/07/02/a-lithium-sulfur-battery-could-give-a-volt-120-miles-aer-seven-years-from-now/

        • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

          Bob is extra sensitive to caps lock. :D He has sensitive ears. :D

          • http://irsmartt.com/ IR Smartt

            So it seems. Apologies Bobby.

          • agelbert

            Don’t apologize. Bob has pulled the same thing on me. His pedantic, persnickety snark is out of line. Thank YOU for voicing your enthusiasm.
            KEEP DOING IT! Don’t let anyone throw a wet blanket on your joy.
            :>)

          • agelbert

            I noticed. And he is going to hear it from me every time he goes into grammar police mode. That’s out of line for those of us who want to be united in our joy whenever there is a significant advance in renewable energy technology. Bob should apologize for his grumpy behavior. It’s not going make new readers feel welcome. I know he won’t listen to me but maybe he will listen to you! If you want more comments on these articles, you don’t want that sort of pedantic, persnickety killjoy stuff.
            TWENTY LASHES WITH A WET NOODLE FOR BOB WALLACE!

      • agelbert

        What is your problem with caps and that snarky remark for someone genuinely excited about this wonderful development in wind turbine technology? You are turning into a grump! Lighten up. You aren’t the grammar police, you know.

        • Bob_Wallace

          It’s my job to keep things somewhat civil on this site.

          Lately we’ve been hit with a large number of trolls, spammers, and low IQ wackos. I’m surprised that I’m not more of a crank than I am. I suppose I’m mellowing with age.

          Now, cut out the all caps crap.

          BTW, would you please point out an incident or two when I corrected someones grammar?

          • agelbert

            Well, I confess to a bit of hyperbole by accusing you of being the grammar police. But using caps incorrectly (which I love to do for emphasis) is not trolling, spamming or out of line if it has to do with genuine enthusiasm for new technology.

            Samuel Clemens used all kinds of quirky grammar to liven up discussions in his day and in his writings. We can have lots of fun ridiculing the trolls and spammers while we are at it, too.

            It’s good sport and provides some entertainment to a very serious, life and death subject we are dealing with here as far as homo sapiens is concerned.

            Just sayin’

            [img]http://www.websmileys.com/sm/violent/sterb029.gif[/img]

          • Bob_Wallace

            With some frequency we get overly aroused folks showing up here, I suppose fresh off their daily Rush/Beck fix, foaming at the mouth. I doubt many of us want this site to be dominated by their rants.

            If I demand that they calm down I think I need to be somewhat even handed and apply the same rules to all.

            I could use some help dealing with these envoys from the dark. If you’d like to help deal with them then just dive in.

          • agelbert

            Okay. When I see somebody trying something unethical I’ll see if I can ridicule them or at least challenge their deliberate half truths. I’ve been away fighting a bunch of fossil fuelers that just don’t want to let go of their worship of propagandist “energy experts” like Nicole Foss from the Automatic Earth that is quite able at PHASE 3 as has been posted here recently on propaganda techniques.

            ]Phase 3- Spread Doubt & Misrepresent the Challenges in the Disguise of General Support.
            It’s like pulling teeth trying to get them to see reason.

          • jeffhre

            LOL, so you’re saying we are operating at the level of Samuel Clemens – thanks! I had a teacher in design school who said once you learn all the rules and are good at them, then you can consider breaking them.

            We’re just slappin’ on keyboards to make ad hoc comments on blogposts, can’t see how following a rules can’t help but make things easier, more clear and less annoying for folks reading what we type.

  • Steeple

    Emissions, land and water contamination associated with natural gas production? Please tell me more. I would rather have a rig drill and natural gas well on my property for 30 days, leaving behind only a wellhead when completed than a noisy visual eyesore than never goes away. And nat gas turbines are dispatching at 3-3.5 cts/kwh, and they produce what is needed when needed. Peakers are more expensive and are held in reserve for the stress periods when called upon.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Here’s more.

      Most people don’t want their land messed up with gas rigs and they don’t want their water supply contaminated.

      Those wellheads? We’re seeing many NG wells drop output very, very rapidly. Look for the frackers to be back after a year or two. Or perhaps they’ll simply go drill a well somewhere else and leave you with messed up land and water along with no income stream.

      That wind turbine? 30+ years of sweet income and if we don’t develop better ways to make electricity late on then that turbine will get replaced with an even better one and you’ll earn even more money.

      (Don’t be short-sighted stupid. You’re looking at immense tax dollar expenditures if we don’t get climate change slowed down.)

      • Steeple

        Proof of messed up water? Don’t tell me, you saw it in a movie?

        Payout on a gas well typically is under two years. A wind turbine?

        Calling someone stupid is a very effective debating tactic. Keep it up.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Keep up with the data, Steeple. Here’s one paper to get you started…

          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=methane-in-pennsylvania-duke-study

          Payout to the land owner for a wind turbine runs for as many years as that turbine is on the land. First gen turbines lasted about 30 years. Current gen turbines should last significantly longer.

          (I didn’t call you stupid. I cautioned you to be wiser.)

        • ab

          Here’s a piece, one of many, about methane contaminating water to the point where a family’s tap water could be set aflame…

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/12/tap-water-catches-fire-methane-debby-jason-kline_n_2462981.html

          • Steeple

            And that happened 100 years ago too in gas seep areas. No news here. I know you all are fans of Renewables, but you need to stay objective.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You, as well, need to stay objective.

            When we see fracking chemicals showing up in places they weren’t found 100 years ago in gas seep areas, that’s news. Take it on board, don’t toss it away as an inconvenient fact.

            Is it a major problem? Is it an unsolvable problem? Those questions we can’t yet answer. But that does not mean we should dismiss concerns.

          • Steeple
          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, real clear science is a junk science site.

            It carries zero weight here.

          • Steeple

            Unlike the HP article previously mentioned that you did not call out. Please follow the link to the NAS article.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Give me a link to the National Academy article. I’m not wading through your link to find it.

          • ab

            It is news; it’s happening now, not 100 years ago and not in a gas seep area…Moreover, it’s acceptable because it continues to happen…today, and specifically associated with the onset of fracking and new gas development?! Where’s the objectivity?

          • Steeple

            let’s use Science to base objectivity on. If we don’t have a control group, how can you know whether anything has changed? We should be careful; it’s our water resource. But let’s not make unsubstantiated claims about our water being contaminated.

          • Bob_Wallace

            My goodness! Science has no “gotta have a control group” rule.

            It’s fairly easy to identify chemicals which don’t occur naturally when found in groundwater.

          • Steeple

            The argument in the article was that the concentrations were higher than normal. Methane is a naturally occuring mineral; you might take the clue from the name natural gas. I’m really trying to be patient with your unwillngness to engage the science here.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Since you apparently did not read the link I provided I’ll copy the important parts for you here…

            “Scientists at Duke University detected elevated levels of methane, ethane and propane in groundwater samples near active fracking sites.

            The scientists conclude that the gasses come from the wells, not natural sources ….

            The researchers sampled well water from 141 homes in six counties. Many of the samples contained methane, but those wells within one kilometer of a gas well showed concentrations six times higher than average.
            Ethane in those nearby homes was 23 times above that of homes farther away. Ten homes also showed traces of propane.

            There are many natural sources of methane, none of which have to do with fracking. Microbes, for example, produce methane as they break down organic matter. Shallow gas pockets also can find their way through
            underground fissures and into water supplies. But methane has a way of telling researchers where it came from. Its molecule consists of one carbon atom attached to four hydrogen atoms. But not all carbon atoms are alike; some are slightly heavier than others. These heavier flavors, or isotopes, of methane can tell scientists where the gas has been.

            Microbes, for example, favor lighter carbon atoms. Deep natural gas reserves, like the Marcellus shale, tend to be heavier. Isotope analysis showed gases that look like they come from the Marcellus Formation.

            The appearance of ethane and propane also rules out microbes as a source in some cases. Biological sources of methane do not produce ethane and propane. Beyond one kilometer from the gas wells the background level of ethane and propane is almost zero. But within that radius, the level jumps dramatically. “Where we find higher methane concentrations,”
            Jackson explains, “sometimes it looks like natural background, sometimes it looks like Marcellus gas.”

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=methane-in-pennsylvania-duke-study

          • jeffhre

            But the Russians…

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            Steeple, no offense, but reading your comments, translated into math make me realize that you’ve got “1+2″ from the equation “1+2+3+4=10″ but not the key remaining parts.

            Yes, in some situations, the natural methane leakage was already the cause. But in many, many, many cases, it was not. This has been studied, but it’s also common sense when a homeowner’s hose never used to be able to create fire, but now it can; when residents are all of a sudden recommended to shower with a fan on them; when people can no longer drink the water coming out of their tap.

            Furthermore, the leakage through the natural gas supply chain is a massive externality. By even a conservative estimate, natural gas becomes worse than coal (as far as global warming goes).

            I understand that you are excited to find the 2 after the 1, but don’t miss finding the 3 and the 4, please.

          • Matt

            Steeple do you work for a NG company? This is the same line of bull they have been using for years. NG is natural, therefore just because it wasn’t in the water until we started drilling doesn’t mean we are involved. Even their own studies should leaks in all there wells in 30 years, and many even in the first year. Also whenever a University has tested they get NG leaks at fields 100s of times higher that that reported by the gas companies.

          • agelbert

            “But let’s not make unsubstantiated claims about our water being contaminated.”

            Ah yes, the old, “Unsubstantiated claims” trick. And saying the word “science” at least once every paragraph is key to a properly “scientific” sounding pitch as well.

            Have you ever considered doing the straight man in stand up comedy? You are a riot![img]http://www.pic4ever.com/images/funny.gif[/img]

            Don’t forget to check those methane levels in your mouth. All claims must be substantiated, you know. Oh, and be sure to tell us where your peer reviewed papers are stored. No, we don’t want to visit your bathroom.

            You’ll have to fax them to the web site. No hand deliveries either after all that methane and fecal coliform exposure (i.e. contamination) in your bathroom.

            Have a nice day.
            [img]http://www.freesmileys.org/emoticons/emoticon-animal-042.gif[/img]

        • ab

          Here’s another: a recent study by Duke Univ. researchers found methane levels in drinking water samples 1km or less from fracking sites to be 6x greater than elsewhere…

          http://rt.com/usa/study-methane-fracking-water-280/

          • Steeple

            The Russians have been on a huge disinformation campaign to discredit fracking, as it threatens one of their leading sources of export income. Namely, sales of natural gas to Europe priced at an oil-based equivalent. Regardless, the study suggests 6X from the base of a very small number and well within EPA guidelines for what is considered safe. Doesn’t mean that we should allow for any sloppiness in how we manage fracking operations.

          • agelbert

            While I’m certain the methane levels in your descending colon will not harm you, I suggest you avoid drinking water from fracked area wells after the well casing cracks within 5 years.
            Also, don’t plan on getting rich selling bottled water. We are on to that fracker collusion with bottled water predatory pigs as well.
            And don’t light a match when you are talking loudly. We wouldn’t want a methane explosion. You might hurt yourself.
            :>)

          • demockracy

            Yep! It’s the Russkies! Ya can’t trust ‘em… They used to be commonists!

            Why all that information about pollution from wells, that’s propygander!

            Hey, did you hear about the gusher in Georgia in the ’50s that spewed SO3 for weeks? (Add water for Sulphuric Acid!!!)…

            And of course that BP debacle in the gulf was staged with Russkie help…

            Yep, yep, yep.

            Tell us, Steeple, what color is the sky in your world?

        • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

          Numerous EPA studies have found it to be leaking into water, whether it was in a movie or not. ;)

        • agelbert

          What’s the payout on your word count? Have you checked the fecal coliform count in your glial cells?

          Tell us about your stock portfolio. Are you sad and frustrated because you held on to Exxon instead of buying Tesla? There’s still hope for you to cash in. Sell your fossil fuel stocks before the crash from lack of competitive prices and/or environmental damage law suits.

          Then buy Kandi technologies (KNDI). It’s still cheap. Get in on the ground floor of the solar electric revolution or get poor. Your choice. But if you don’t, you’re going to take a worse beating than you did in 2008. Your 401K is going to morph into a 201K.
          Don’t say we didn’t warn ya! LOL!

      • http://www.energyquicksand.com/ Edward Kerr

        Bob,

        After reading all the comments here I wonder why you even try to convince people that wind energy is better than NG (fracked or conventional) as they obviously “don’t get it”. You may as well talk to your dog or lawn mower.

        But I need to chide you a bit here as when you say (Don’t be short-sighted stupid. You’re looking at immense tax dollar expenditures if we don’t get climate change slowed down.) you are missing a bigger cost. If we don’t get climate change reversed (not just slowed down) the cost will be the extinction of most of the life forms on earth. Of course that will be after greater expenditures in an attempt to avert disaster.

        Sorry to be so “down beat” but the science is solid and the consequences clear. So these people who are lost in la la land are just a distraction. In time they will know how mistaken they are.

        Regards,
        Ed

        • Bob_Wallace

          I suppose I respond to these folks hoping that they will reconsider at least some part of their belief system. Perhaps one or two facts will lodge in their memory.

          Maybe they won’t think things trough today, maybe not this week, but we do know that societies gradually changed their thinking which means that not everyone gets there at the same time. Some people are slow to accept a new idea or position.

          At the minimum I believe we need to respond to these folks in order to present the ‘other side’ to someone who might be reading the comments.

          I hear you about the larger danger of massive damage to the planet. But I don’t think that is believable to many of these people. They are barely starting to admit that the planet is warming, I doubt they grasp the concept of continued warming, it’s too big a leap to make in a single bound.

          And I think many of them are “Me, me now” people. They aren’t very interested in future generations as much as they are interested in how much they are going to be forced to pay in taxes or electricity bills today. Altruism is not their long suit.

          A billion dollars a day of their tax dollars going to treat coal-produced health problems. Them having to pay more for health insurance due to the cost of treating coal-produced health problems. Their property insurance premiums rising due to extreme weather. Hundreds of billions of their tax dollars to be spent for sea walls for our coastal cities.

          These are the things that hit them, personally and now/soon. Make it personal. Make it about the dollars in their pocket and I think there’s a better chance they’ll think about the consequences of continuing to burn coal.

          Show them that we can have all the electricity when we want it with renewables and for about the same price. Or even cheaper. They won’t see any difference when they turn on the TV and their electricity bill might even drop a bit.

          Our friend may never figure out how badly he’s shooting himself in the foot. And he may not give a damn about his children or grandchildren or great grandchildren or people who live outside his house, but I’m willing to spend some time seeing if I can get him to take on some new info and think a bit.

          • http://www.energyquicksand.com/ Edward Kerr

            You’re absolutely right Bob. I do, from time to time, tend to loose patience with short sighted and self centered folks who think that we who are concerned are a wacko-fringe element looking to fear monger. Nothing, speaking for myself, could be further from the truth. I have been (cursed now it seems) with a good brain and the ability to see connections and “the big picture”. That brain, crunching the data available, leaves me feeling very disquieted. I’m an older man now and won’t likely live to the end but I have eight grandchildren for whom I am fearful. The legacy that they are soon to “inherit” is not the one that they, or anyone, deserves.

            Sadly, had we started in time (and there still might be a window) the solutions to a sustainable situation for mankind are fairly simple. We have the technologies to make a transition to a carbon neutral energy production system. Technology will facilitate conservation and having fewer children for a century would bring us painlessly to sustainability.

            Instead we are approaching limits that are going to be very painful adjusting to if we can adjust at all.

            So I guess that all we can do individually is try our level best to inform people so as to have the best possible outcome. Change is imperative. I just wish that it was easier to help people to understand what we are facing.

            Thanks for reminding me to be civil and true to this late life calling.

            Keep fighting,
            Ed

          • Bob_Wallace

            As one old fart to another, trying to keep my cool and reply to some of these people is trying. I really just want to holler at them to get off my lawn….

          • agelbert

            Well Bob. If you ever just get tired of the relentless propaganda people playing dumb but who are really here to disrupt and discredit renewable energy, a little ad hominem can be quite satisfying.
            I like the one about observing that this argumentative and unreasonable fellow suffers from a colonization of his glial cells by fecal coliforms.
            It takes em’ a while to figure out you have just told them they are full of s__t.
            :>)

          • agelbert

            “Make it about the dollars in their pocket and I think there’s a better chance they’ll think about the consequences of continuing to burn coal.”
            Well said. Once you have showed them, if they refuse to listen to reason, it’s because they are talking their fossil fuel stock portfolio or are hired to come here and disrupt good news on Renewable Energy. Notice all the traffic today when a bit of hard data that makes fossil fuels a dead man walking comes out.
            But I maintain that the horrendous weather coming our way will convert these die hard fools lickety split!
            Sometimes mother nature’s giant two by four is the only thing that can knock some sense into people.
            :>)
            Nature bats last. And she’s a homerun champ.

        • agelbert

          The harsh climate will force TPTB to deep six all fossil fuels and go on a crash program of renewable energy. All this pro fossil fuel and nuclear propaganda will vanish in a heartbeat when the really terrible weather extremes in temperatures and storms begin to destroy valuable infrastructure left and right. The U.S. Government knows this. Here’s the proof that fossil fuel large centralized power plants and nuclear water hog power plants will eventually give way to 100% Renewable Energy smart microgrids will multiple redundancies..

          From the Department of Energy:

          Any power plant that uses a lot of water is a bad risk for the future. Only PV and Wind turbines don’t.

          DOE Offers Dire Warnings Of Climate Change’s Impact On Energy Grid

          http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112896113/doe-offers-dire-warnings-of-climate-change%E2%80%99s-impact-on-energy-grid/

          • http://www.energyquicksand.com/ Edward Kerr

            You’re right about the situation but whether or not TPTB will “deep six” FF’s in response remains to be seen. They are “strung out hard” and can’t seem to lay down the pipe or needle.
            H2O, as you note, might be the new deal maker. Let’s hope…My fingers are crossed.

    • Ronald Brakels

      A wind turbine exploded in Wayne County MS two weeks ago. Authorities that reached the scene moments after the explosion said that the wind rushing from the burst turbine sounded like a jet engine taking off. The 26 residents living within a one-mile radius were evacuated due to concerns that wind levels could become toxic or create a fire hazard. The sulfuric odor of the wind could be smelled several miles away. The wind released is a potent greenhouse gas. After 48 hours residents could still not return to their homes. At that time owners of the wind turbine could not give an estimate of when it would be fixed, whether it would take days or weeks. They said human error did not appear to be the cause of the explosion.

      • Bob_Wallace

        In 2010 a wind turbine exploded in San Bruno, California. Eight people were killed, 38 homes destroyed.

        No, I think I’ve got my facts wrong. Let me check…

        2010? Yes.

        San Bruno, Ca? Yes.

        Eight fatalities? Unfortunately, correct.

        38 homes destroyed? Yes. Plus many more damaged.

        Wind turbine? Ah! That’s what I had wrong….

        • ab

          Wasn’t there a major natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno? Is this what you are referring to?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Right, Andrew.

      • ab

        As bad as this is, and as much as effective checks and oversight is needed, this doesn’t compare to the damage of an Exxon Valdez, Horizon Deepwater, or other examples of the ecological and social catastrophes caused by fossil fuel development…

        • Bob_Wallace

          (Andrew – engage your snark module)

      • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

        Note for those not as informed on this matter: Ronald is not referring to risks associated with wind turbines but in a very clever way is referring to risks associated with natural gas.

      • agelbert

        Is this satire? It has to be. But if it isn’t, guess where the electricity near Fukushima was coming from after the tsunami in 2011? WIND TURBINES in the ocean! They were heralded as heroes for much of the populace about 5o miles south. The tsunami went right through them and they were unharmed and continued to generate electricity. Because of this, many more are being built off shore as well as a concerted PV panel placement campaign.

        Get a grip! Your are embarrassing yourself.

        And read this from the Department of Energy:

        Any power plant that uses a lot of water is a bad risk for the future. Only PV and Wind turbines don’t.

        DOE Offers Dire Warnings Of Climate Change’s Impact On Energy Grid

        http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112896113/doe-offers-dire-warnings-of-climate-change%E2%80%99s-impact-on-energy-grid/

    • Dan Hue

      Steeple, you say 3-3.5 cents/kWh for NG, and the article says 5-7 cents for wind. I’ve heard these numbers from other sources, and they are credible. I believe NG is expected to become more expensive, and wind probably cheaper, but admittedly, there is probably additional cost for new transmission lines, etc. associated with wind (or solar). So let’s assume that there is a long-term 2 to 4 cents gap between the 2 technologies. Why would that make NG so compelling, given all the externalities associated with fossil fuels? Even 7 cents/kWh is very cheap compared to the economic value of that amount of energy. There is no way that 2 to 4 cents gap could make any significant difference in terms of wealth and standard of living, except perhaps for the poorest among us. But then again, those claiming that it does typically don’t care about those folks.

      • mgreczyn

        The NG number is also, I believe, the dispatched cost from a fully depreciated and paid-for CT. The wind number is for a brand-spanking-new facility. Which means, apples to apples, (i.e. brand-new plant to brand-new plant or fully depreciated plant to fully depreciated plant) wind is cheaper than gas.

        • Bob_Wallace

          The EIA projects costs for new generation brought on line in 2017. They do a ‘Total LCOE’ which includes transmission costs. That’s about as apples:apples as one can get.

          They predict Combined Cycle Natural Gas at 6.6 to 6.7 cents per kWh, CCNG with carbon capture at 9.3.

          Natural gas turbine at 10.5 to 13 per kWh.

          Onshore wind at 8.7.

          http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

          It seems to me that the EIA does ‘business as usual’ projections. They don’t factor in things which look probable. They missed the rapid drop in PV prices in their solar projections. I’m not sure they are factoring in rising NG prices which could close that 2 cent difference in the next couple of years.

          It’s almost certain that gas prices are going up and the majority of costs for CCNG is fuel. 4.8 cents of CCNG’s cost is variable operating costs which include fuel.

          And wind costs are dropping. There’s likely a crossover coming soon at which wind become cheaper than NG.

          And solar might get cheaper than NG in the next five years. It’s already getting as cheap as CCNG with carbon capture.

          • Dan Hue

            Let’s add even a modest carbon tax and the case for NG just crumbles.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m all for that. Perhaps if take control of the House of Representatives out of the hands of anti-Earth people we could get that done.

            In the meantime it seems like utilities are starting to understand that wind and solar are good hedges against rising NG prices.

            Because of subsidies they are able to sign 20, 30 year PPAs at about the same price as CCNG right now. If the price of gas goes up, so does the electricity from a CCNG. But with a low priced PPA for wind or solar they protect themselves against that price rise.

      • Steeple

        Dan, if you’ve seen my prior posts, I am a fan of solar. Costs keep coming down and it’s production profile fits the shape of the demand cure. Wind is the exact opposite, is in the wrong place and is the pet project of crony capitalists. Do gooders who have the interests of the poor in mind seem to be fine with creating food inflation by promoting inefficient fuels like ethanol, or increasing the cost of basic fuels like electricity. We all do better to make our economy more efficient while keeping sound environmental protections in place.

        • Bob_Wallace

          You’re a fan of solar. But you hate wind.

          Wind, un-subsidizeed, is less than half the price of unsubsidized solar.

          Wind is now producing more than 3.5% of our electricity while solar is giving us 0.11%. Wind is displacing more fossil fuels than solar.

          The wind blows far more hours per day which means less storage requirements.

          I’ll bet someone erected a wind turbine in your view.

          • Steeple

            Nope, no wind turbines in my area thankfully. Keep projecting tough; you may guess correctly one day.

            The value of electricity is determined more by when it is generated than any other variable. The same MW of power can be worth nothing (in the extreme, but not unheard of), $30-50 on average, and $1000’s on the other extreme. Wind blowing at 2AM is essentially useless. So a pure comparison of cost to generate is no where near the whole story. But instead, you keep throwing up meaningless statistics like above to make a failing economic argument.
            The only reason wind needs storage so badly is that it blows at the wrong time; solar doesn’t have such a need and is a much more elegant solution to our power and environmental needs than wind will ever be.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “The value of electricity is determined more by when it is generated than any other variable.”

            Yes, that’s generally true.

            Since solar generates no power without sunshine it creates nothing of value when the Sun isn’t shining.

            Wind often blows when the Sun isn’t shining and produces valuable electricity.

            Were we to attempt to run a grid off of 100% solar we would need more storage than if we were to attempt to run a grid off of 100% wind.

            You mistake the market forces of “always” on fossil fuels in lowering the monetary value of wind on today’s grid. As we fade out fossil fuels and nuclear fades away on its own then you’ll be able to see the value of wind.

          • Steeple

            Bob, we’ll be long dead and gone and we will still be using fossil fuels to generate power. The 100% argument is a canard; neither will happen. I guess we will just continue to disagree and we’ll check back in 5 years to see what solution is making he most sense.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Don’t know how old you are. I suspect I’ll be gone before we kick fossil fuel worldwide.

            I don’t think we can physically replace all our fossil fuel generation in less than 20 years. But I think if I hang around for another 20 I’ll see the world’s grid using fossil fuels for less than 10% of their supplies.

            I don’t think the world will be using coal in 20 years.

            There’s no reason to think we would be using fossil fuels 40 years from now. At some point every piece of machinery wears out and has to be replaced.

            Right now it makes no sense to replace a coal plant with a new coal plant. Costs too much. Cheaper to install a mix of renewables and NG fill-in.

            I expect ten years or less from now it won’t make sense to replace a NG plant with a new NG plant. Storing wind/solar will be cheaper.

            I think we’ll see a rapid decrease in fossil fuel use over the next 20 years as we work to get our carbon emissions down to an acceptable level, then efforts will taper off and the remaining fossil fuel generation will go away more gradually.

            If we get really cheap storage (Ambri’s liquid metal batteries) then I retract my timeline. Things will move faster.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Oy, a troll. You’d really rather have this on your property? http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-26-2013/exclusive—josh-fox-extended-interview-pt–1

      Please, tell me you’re a paid troll and not simply a confused citizen.

    • agelbert

      “Please tell me more. I would rather have a rig drill and natural gas well on my property for 30 days, leaving behind only a wellhead ”
      I guess you haven’t read the documentation from the frackers themselves. 100% of the well casings crack within 5 years of placement. That means GOODBYE to your water qualiity and HELLO to a poisoned aquifer.
      And BOB – don’t bug me on the caps thing, OKAY!!?
      I was Honor English in college and can write rings around you if I wanted to. Start showing some respect for fellow readers and writers on the same side of the environmental fence! Shame on you! Save your snark for people that defend fossil fuels!

      • Bob_Wallace

        Cut the all caps.

        No more warnings.

        It does not matter which side of the fence you are on. Follow the rules.

    • agelbert

      Listen genius, according to the documentation from the frackers themselves, 100% of the well casings crack within 5 years of drilling guaranteeing a poisoned aquifer. What part of that don’t you understand?

      And as for the future, gas is not part of it, pal.

      Get a grip! Your are embarrassing yourself.

      And read this from the Department of Energy:

      Any power plant that uses a lot of water is a bad risk for the future. Only PV and Wind turbines don’t.

      DOE Offers Dire Warnings Of Climate Change’s Impact On Energy Grid

      http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112896113/doe-offers-dire-warnings-of-climate-change%E2%80%99s-impact-on-energy-grid/

    • demockracy

      What happened to the lagoon where they pumped the drilling mud? Or fracking chemicals? How about them methane emissions (23 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2)?

      Go see the movie “Gasland”… It’s the one where people are lighting the output from their faucets…

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