The wisps of smoke are birds/insects being immolated by the Ivanpah solar farm.
A macabre fireworks show unfolds each day along I-15 west of Las Vegas, as birds fly into concentrated beams of sunlight and are instantly incinerated, leaving wisps of white smoke against the blue desert sky.
Workers at the Ivanpah Solar Plant have a name for the spectacle: “Streamers.”
Federal biologists say about 6,000 birds die from collisions or immolation annually while chasing flying insects around the facility’s three 40-story towers, which catch sunlight from five square miles of garage-door-size mirrors to drive the plant’s power-producing turbines.
Coyotes are getting fat on Roadrunners.
In addition, coyotes eat dozens of road runners trapped along the outside of a perimeter fence that was designed to prevent federally threatened desert tortoises from wandering onto the property.
California is planning for TOU (Time of Use) pricing for electricity that matches up with renewables like solar and wind:
From late morning until the sun sets, California produces a significant amount of solar power; and the future for solar is so bright, we’re reaching for our shades. With TOU pricing, we can shift demand to match up with the abundant solar electricity we produce – making the cheapest price windows for TOU rates likely from 10 AM until 4 PM. The good news is, the success of clean energy programs in California over the past decade means we’ll be able to meet peak demand by simply re-aligning our energy use to synch up with plentiful, clean, and cheap electricity.
Starting January 1, 2019, after a period of study, public outreach, and education, California’s large investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison) will switch households to time-of-use (TOU) electricity pricing.
This simplified rate structure rewards customers who shift some of their electricity use to times of the day when clean energy is plentiful.
Why would you run the dishwasher at 6 PM, for example, if it were cheaper to wash the dishes overnight when wind energy is abundant and cheap?
The last line is an actual quote.
Why? Because you want clean dishes? You can’t sleep with the dishwasher running?
Do you want to be able to afford electricity for showering, laundry or charging your electric car?
Then stay home in the middle of the day (but only when it is sunny). or only do those things when it is windy!
If you don’t you know they will punish you with grotesquely high electricity rates.
The Aliso Canyon gas storage facility has a leak. That could mean 14 days of blackouts. (UPDATE: Affected Region Map at bottom)
And if they empty the gas, and the leak is nor fixed by the winter, things will be worse in the winter.
Several actions are underway to respond to the major natural gas leak that occurred at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility on October 23, 2015. With the leak now stopped, there is a moratorium that prohibits the operator of the facility, Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), from injecting natural gas into the underground reservoir until a comprehensive safety review of the facility is completed. This safety review requires that all 114 wells in the facility are either thoroughly tested for safe operation or removed from operation and isolated from the underground reservoir.
The implementation of these safety measures means that the Aliso Canyon facility is not operating as it normally does to provide gas for the energy demands in the Greater Los Angeles area. Only 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas remains in the Aliso Canyon underground reservoir—less than one-fifth of the capacity of the facility—for use to maintain electrical and gas service in the region if it is needed.
The Aliso Canyon facility has operated for decades as a critical part of the natural gas transmission and distribution system in the Los Angeles region. Aliso Canyon provides gas supplies to 11 million customers for home heating, hot water and cooking fuel. The facility also provides gas supplies to natural gas-fired power plants that play a central role meeting regional electrical demand. Aliso Canyon is critical to meeting peak gas usage demands in winter months and helping to meet peak electrical demands during the summer months.
The engineering analysis, which applied complex industry standard hydraulic modeling to simulate operations on the SoCalGas system suggests that without any gas supply from Aliso Canyon, there are 14 days this coming summer during which gas curtailments could be high enough to cause electricity service interruptions to millions of utility customers. Factors leading to gas curtailments, even 3 on days with only moderately high demand, include differences between gas scheduled and received into the SoCalGas system (receipts) versus actual customer demand (sendout) as small as 0.15 Bcf; gas storage and pipeline maintenance work planned for this summer, and unplanned outages.
Using the 15 billion cubic feet of gas currently stored at Aliso Canyon as directed by the CPUC and taking several other actions described below can reduce – although not eliminate – the possibility of these electric interruptions. It is also important to note that, using most or all the gas remaining in Aliso Canyon during this summer would result in greater risk of shortages next winter if normal operations of the facility are not restored in time to store new gas there for winter use.
This map shows the Aliso Canyon Delivery Area: