Morning Ed: Energy {2018.07.06.M}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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22 Responses

  1. pillsy says:

    [E2] Maybe they should tell the city that their wind farm is actually an avant garde football stadium.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy says:

      The turbines are to be sighted 14 miles off the coast. Why is Ocean City even being given a voice here, it’s beyond the 12 mile limit?Report

      • “Given a voice” is a bit of an overstatement. They’re shouting and screaming and being ignored by everyone except some of the media.


        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

          And one state Rep, it seems.

          I honestly don’t get the aversion to seeing turbines in the distance. I think they are cool to look at and watch, and it’s an ocean view, it’s not like they are blocking a view of something further East.

          Has anyone ever done a poll of vacationers regarding their attitudes on a view of turbines in the distance*.

          *Keeping in mind that at 14 miles, you won’t see the whole turbine, since it will be dropping below the horizon by that point.Report

          • We’ve got folks from both Southern California and the Gulf Coast here. Maybe they could say something about how people there feel about seeing offshore drilling platforms in the distance.


            • They’re usually far enough that you can’t see them, or they look like a boat. Fishermen and boating enthusiasts may not like them though really the only objections I heard involved fears or incidents of leaks and the like. Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to Will Truman says:

                The platforms support marine life because they approximate coral reef habitats. I know this from various aquariums that have an underwater exhibit sponsored by an oil company that shows how they are abandoned in place for that purpose. I would expect wind turbines to do the same, at least after its operating life is completed.Report

              • lyle in reply to Will Truman says:

                In addition in the gulf they provide a habitat for diving all be it mostly a chance to look at barnacles (the rigs are to far north for real coral reefs), but there may be large groups of fish under the rig. Fishermen like the rigs because the concentrate the fish making it easier to catch, plus a place to tie up the boat. I did one day of diving on a rig, then decided I would not do that again.Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

              Thing about a drilling platform is that there is always that looming concern that it’ll do a Deepwater Horizon and dump millions of barrels of oil onto the beach.

              Last I checked, a Wind Turbine that comes apart dumps maybe a dozen gallons of lube and hydraulic oil.Report

              • Richard Hershberger in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Back when I went to UC Santa Barbara I don’t recall the objection to the platforms being aesthetic. I actually quite liked the sound of the foghorns in the distance in foggy weather. But there were those blobs of tar on the beaches and in the water. (Pro tip: Turpentine take it right off. For tar in the hair, you probably want to go with vegetable oil. It isn’t as effective, but who wants turpentine in their hair?) It was clear that some of this was natural. The Chumash Indians used it to waterproof their canoes. But how much was natural was much less clear. I don’t know if there was any pre-oil derrick data. The oil companies claimed it was all natural, but I doubt even the Young Republicans really believed this.Report

      • PD Shaw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        They don’t have a voice, but the concern is going to be whether the city can indirectly make the project more expensive and/or the city can lobby for legislation or more stringent regulatory review. Notice this line: they’ve already “scaled-back plans, because that is all the market will bear.”Report

        • Michael Cain in reply to PD Shaw says:

          Notice this line: they’ve already “scaled-back plans, because that is all the market will bear.”

          I read that as “We’ve refined our economic models, and at a price where we make a profit, we can’t sell as much electricity as we thought we could.” I assume they will be selling into the PJM marketplace, which can be complicated. There are — or at least were — a couple of generators in Virginia who were looking at an undersea HVDC link from southern Virginia to Long Island so they could bypass the PJM and sell into the much more lucrative New York market. There’s a very large partially-complete wind farm in Wyoming that will eventually sell large amounts of power to Southern California utilities, also over HVDC.


          • lyle in reply to Michael Cain says:

            Actually HVDC leads to my wild nuclear plant scenario, put them on Hudson bay and the Arctic Ocean because cold water makes the plants more efficient. Then HVDC to tie back south, on the Quebec side of Hudson Bay the HVDC lines are already in place.Report

            • Michael Cain in reply to lyle says:

              Quartz has a piece pointing out some nuclear plant shutdowns in Europe this year as the sources for the once-through cooling water got too hot. Southern Company in the US spent a modest fortune a few years ago converting a bunch of its plants cooling from once-through to evaporative to avoid the same problem. The Diablo Canyon nukes in California are shutting down in a few years because — at least IMO — the owners are not willing to risk the cost of building a whole new cooling system since California tightened the limits on how much waste heat power plants can dump into the Pacific. One of the reasons wind/solar is increasingly popular in much of the American West is that there’s no more available* fresh water for cooling.

              Wonder how Canada is going to look at dumping waste heat into the Arctic Ocean and Hudson’s Bay?

              * Western water law is… different.Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    As I worked my way through the articles, and mapped them onto the long-term US situation as I see it, I came to the conclusion that in 20-25 years the 36 states plus DC that make up the Eastern Interconnect are going to be so screwed.


    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

      Well, to be honest, you have pretty much been saying that for years now, so really it’s just another data point or two in support of that pet theory.Report

      • Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        @oscar-gordon Y’all are always so wary of having your priors confirmed… I see this as more of a self-replication-of-the-experiment exercise ;).Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou says:

          Hell, I’ve pretty much bought into Michael’s theory at this point.Report

          • Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            Sometimes I like to imagine that if it tuns out he actually is right, there will be this small coterie of people who’ve listened to him, and thus are like “Yup, guess that was bound to happen,” instead of freaking out and running around like their lives are on fire…Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou says:

              I figure that small cohort will be the ones who decided to move west right after the first wave of rolling brownouts started hitting the bulk of the interconnect.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                @oscar-gordon And those of us who were already here :).

                (I will confess that Michael is probably part of the reason I feel somewhat obligated to stay here in CO in case my family members who live elsewhere on the continent and the planet need a physical/geographical /infrastructural (as opposed to political) refuge.)Report