“Imagine what kind of havoc this kind of energy flux can do. Not one piece of baseload capital equipment can be retired, despite the fact that half of it is randomly unprofitable depending on cloud cover. Solar PV eats away the low cost competitive advantage. Capital sits there unused, spinning on standby, while wages, interest, and other costs keep accruing. So hapless baseload suppliers charge more for the hours that they do run, making electricity more expensive.
They just need batteries with three months supply.”
Do you have a lot of solar cells in your neighborhood or city or state? Then welcome to the PVHI.
“Because there are still large uncertainties surrounding the potential for a PHVI effect, we examined the PVHI empirically with experiments that spanned three biomes. We found temperatures over a PV plant were regularly 3–4 °C warmer than wildlands at night, which is in direct contrast to other studies based on models that suggested that PV systems should decrease ambient temperatures.”
And then your region can buy more air conditioners to try and cool off the evening, which will then pump more warm moist air into the area, which will increase the night time temperatures even more and then ….
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.
A small fire was reported yesterday morning at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in California, forcing a temporary shutdown of the facility. It’s now running at a third of its capacity (a second tower is down due to scheduled maintenance), and it’s not immediately clear when the damaged tower will restart. It’s also unclear how the incident will impact California’s electricity supply.
Putting out the blaze was not easy task, either. Firefighters were forced to climb 300 feet up a boiler tower to get to the scene. Officials said the fire was located about two-thirds up the tower. Workers at the plant actually managed to subdue the flames by the time firefighters reached the spot, and it was officially extinguished about 20 minutes after it started.
The problem with solar power on a state wide basis is that it peaks at mid day while “everyone” is at work and no one is doing laundry or cooking dinner or turning on the A/C at the end of a long hot day at work or school.
There is a real risk of overgeneration which means you need to dump electricity somewhere or quickly shutdown any non-solar power you can.
And then kids start coming home from school and then the sun starts to go down and the parents come home and put something in the oven and maybe do a load of laundry and plug in the hybrid car.
And suddenly you need 13,000MW of power to pump into the grid.
And the demand curve looks like a duck.
The surge in intermittent solar power will test the statewide electricity grid because it exacerbates the need for alternative sources such as gas outside of daylight hours. Regulators have warned it’ll make California more vulnerable to price spikes and power disruptions.
In German, the term Dunkelflaute is used to describe the predicament. Dunkel means “dark”; solar is simply not available half the time, and solar power production is significant for only around six hours a day even when the sun is shining. Flaute is “doldrums” – when the wind is not blowing. So the “dark doldrums” are times when solar and wind power is not available in sufficient amounts.
This chart is just wind+solar for March in Germany. Red lines are periods less than 5GW.