Nuclear Power To Rescue US Northwest from Cold and Low Wind/Hydro

Nukes to the rescue.

“low stream flows, high natural gas prices and the very cold weather and low wind.”

For most of the month of February the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant has been under a “no touch” order to help keep the heat on across the region.

The Bonneville Power Administration, which markets the electricity produced at the nuclear plant near Richland, asked for the restriction during an unusually cold February across the state that increased the demand for electricity.

The policy limits any maintenance activity that would either require a reduction in power or would pose a risk to sustaining 100 percent production, said Mike Paoli, spokesman for Energy Northwest.

“No touch” is occasionally requested by BPA when unusually hot or cold weather increases demand for electricity.

For instance, in August 2017 the nuclear power plant was under the policy for about a week.

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But in February the plant was under a no touch policy for 23 of the past 26 days.

It restricted maintenance activities not only at the nuclear reactor, but also on its turbine generator and in the transformer yard.

The exception was for an hour or so on Feb. 16 when BPA agreed that it would be a good idea to do one of the periodically scheduled nuclear plant control rod adjustments.

Although the plant powered down by 30 percent, the change helped optimize power production, Paoli said.

Columbia Generating Station has the capability to produce 1,207 megawatts, which is typically enough energy to power Seattle and part of its metro area. It is the third largest electricity generator in the state.

The nuclear plant helps protect BPA from having to go out on the open market to buy power, said David Wilson, a BPA spokesman.

“We asked them for the “no touch order,” because of low stream flows, high natural gas prices and the very cold weather,” he told the Herald.

The cold snap comes as water flows that spin dam turbines are low and wind generation is not at peak production.

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Texas Nuke Plant Stays Online Amid Harvey

Despite the forces of nature and in spite of the opportunistic efforts of professional opponents, a large nuclear power station located in the middle of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation continues to steadily produce 100% of its rated power output.

Read the rest: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rodadams/2017/08/30/nuke-plant-could-close-but-didnt-give-credit-to-resilient-operators-robust-design-and-a-plan

 

 

Ontario’s Electricity Policy Disaster

Massive revenue guarantees for a handful of lucky wind power generators, but no appreciable environmental benefit from Ontario’s energy policies says economics professor Ross McKitrick

You may be surprised to learn that electricity is now cheaper to generate in Ontario than it has been for decades. The wholesale price, called the Hourly Ontario Electricity Price or HOEP, used to bounce around between five and eight cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), but over the last decade, thanks in large part to the shale gas revolution, it has trended down to below three cents, and on a typical day is now as low as two cents per kWh. Good news, right?

It would be, except that this is Ontario. A hidden tax on Ontario’s electricity has pushed the actual purchase price in the opposite direction, to the highest it’s ever been. The tax, called the Global Adjustment (GA), is levied on electricity purchases to cover a massive provincial slush fund for green energy, conservation programs, nuclear plant repairs and other central planning boondoggles. As these spending commitments soar, so does the GA.

In the latter part of the last decade when the HOEP was around five cents per kWh and the government had not yet begun tinkering, the GA was negligible, so it hardly affected the price. In 2009, when the Green Energy Act kicked in with massive revenue guarantees for wind and solar generators, the GA jumped to about 3.5 cents per kWh, and has been trending up since — now it is regularly above 9.5 cents.

In April it even topped 11 cents, triple the average HOEP.

So while the marginal production cost for generation is the lowest in decades, electricity bills have never been higher. And the way the system is structured, costs will keep rising.

Read more here

 

Electrical Madness in Green Ontario

Go to Ron Clutz’s Page and follow the links. Horrible things are happening in Ontario!

The energy mix in Ontario’s electrical sector is dominated by hydro and nuclear, so getting off coal seemed doable.  But in the provincial government’s drive to reduce CO2 emissions and join the California Emissions Trading Scheme, they have hardwired costly energy contracts that Ontarians will pay for through their noses for decades. Meet the Global Adjustment Fee (covering a multitude of sins and mismanagement).