Someday some wizard will develop a chemistry breakthrough that will do for storage of electricity what horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has done for oil and gas production.
In the meantime, the cost for battery storage of electricity is staggering.
5/22/17 – Wall Street Journal – The Race to Build a Better Big Battery – The unreliable intermittent nature of solar power is a massive problem blocking the way of solar being a viable substitute for fossil fuels.
Major efforts are underway to figure out some way to store electricity on an industrial scale.
One cited experiment is being run by Greet Mountain Power. They have a 7,722 panel solar plant which has a theoretical capacity of providing the power to 2,000 homes when the weather conditions are right.
Just a few of the recent articles providing updates on slice-and-dicers damage in general and status of North Dakota wind farmsplants in particular.
Wyoming project may get specific permission to kill eagles
All wind farmsplants get broad permission to kill eagles for 30 years
Massive subsidies for wind power, which is intermittent and unreliable, meaning it is often unavailable when needed
Updates on two N.D. turbine farms
12/8/16 – Denver Post – Wyoming wind project may get permit to kill eagles – The Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farmplant, which will start with 500 slice-and-dicers and may expand to 1,000 bird-choppers, could get two critical permits by next month (January).
The first permit will allow destroying eagle nests that are currently unoccupied. I’m guessing that will chase away eagles from the kill zone.
The second permit will allow the facility to kill 14 golden eagles a year for five years. They can also off 2 bald eagles a year for five years.
The slicer farmplant will have to do mitigation for the golden eagles they expect to kill, but not the bald eagles.
Looks to me like the project will substantially increase the cost of electricity.
Stored water concept
The concept is that electricity generated by wind farmsplants or solar farmsplants when there is no need for the electricity can be sent to the Gordon Butte facility. The otherwise unusable electricity will be used to pump water from a reservoir uphill to a reservoir at a higher elevation. That “stores” the potential energy.
Later, when consumers want more electricity than the slice-and-dicers and wing-toasters can produce, water will be drained from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir through turbines thus generating electricity from the stored water.
Million Dollar Way pointed me to EIA data for 2013 on the costs for construction and amount of new capacity for wind, solar, natural gas, hydro and biomass. As expected, the non-reliables have extremely high construction costs.
I’m probably in over my head with this table, but here is what I’ve learned. The total overnight cost is the estimated amount if the project were to be built instantly. I think that represents what most people would consider to be the cost of construction.
I am trying to collect reference points for the cost to construct different types of facilities. Here are a few data points I’ve noticed lately and some data points I’ve mentioned before.
Remember to discount all the construction costs below by the 15% to 30% capacity rate. That means backup natural gas or coal plants are needed for the 70% or 85% of the minutes each day the facilities aren’t producing.
I haven’t paid attention to offshore drilling so I’m not familiar with production levels or costs. Here is one data point I just saw:
In addition to having distance capacity which may or may not be sufficient to get you where you want to go in a day, electric vehicles (EVs) are frequently powered by coal, can drain the grid during the day, and eventually they may force replacement of every neighborhood transformer in the grid.
11/23 – The Washington Post – Electric cars and the coal that runs them – Electric vehicles require huge amounts of electricity. Article says one charge takes as much electricity as a refrigerator uses in a month and a half. That electricity has to come from somewhere, even more so when a country has dramatically increased the amount of EVs on the road.
In Netherlands electricity to charge EVs comes from coal. Yes, coal.
To handle the huge increase in electricity demand because of EVs, the country has built three brand-new coal-fired power plants, of which two are at the Rotterdam Harbor.
The Seven Mile Hill and Glenrock/Rolling Hills projects in Wyoming are owned and run by PacifiCorp Energy. The owner has entered a guilty plea to two counts of breaking the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Officials have counted the dead birds at those two facilities since 2009. How high is the count of shredded birds? The article says:
38 golden eagles
336 other protected birds
I think that count is incorrect. According to the criminal information complaint filed in the case, which is available in the federal PACER system, the total bird count at the two facilities is 336, which includes the 38 golden eagles. The two counts consist of one count for each facility.
A few updates on a few slice/dice/fry projects, as one observer calls them:
11/4 – ReWire – “Dead” Solar Plant May Rise From Grave – The joint owners of the Palen Solar Electric Generating System pulled their plan recently. One of the owners (Abengoa Solar) will buy out the other (Brightstar), revise the design, and resubmit their plan. That is the announced goal. The wing-toasting facility will be redesigned with one tower and the ability to store electricity using molten salt.
This would be Palen plan #3. The first was parabolic solar. The second was 3 warming towers. This will be only one solar collecting tower plus storage capacity.
The cutting edge of renewable energy is chopping down trees, chipping them, loading the chips onto a truck, transporting to a brand new plant, and burning them.
Yes, burning trees to read your paper at night, illuminate your office during the day, and (for some) cooking dinner. The new technology is called biomass.
That’s the same power source used by Abraham Lincoln when he was going to school. His family used wood for cooking, heating, and illumination.
In fact, as recently as when my dad was growing up on a farm, the family used wood for cooking and heating. Thanks to John Rockefeller, they were able to use kerosene for illumination. They would buy coal to keep the house warm overnight. Wood was the sole cooking source and primary heating source.
Public Service of New Hampshire has a new wood-burner fully online. I calculate it will cost New Hampshire residents an extra 1 or 2 cents a kilowatt-hour.
Most companies estimate production costs at $6,000 to $8,000 per month per well…or $70,000 to $100,000 per year.
Keep in mind that a majority of wells require a week or more of maintenance each year with a workover rig with support equipment and crew at $10,000 plus per day.
You also have significant power costs in addition to general lease operations. A 6-8 well pad could easily require $750,000 to $1 million per year to keep everything in top condition to maximize production without any major operational downhole problems.