Sunday, June 26, 2011

Obama Administration Wants to Meddle With US Power Grid Safety Features To Accomodate Unreliable Wind and Solar Projects

Big wind and big solar power projects are inherently unreliable and exorbitantly expensive to incorporate into a fine-tuned power grid. Consequently, the US Obama administration plans to de-tune the power grid -- with unpredictable results -- so as to make it easier to "fit in" the sloppy, unpredictable power produced by wind and solar.
The group that oversees the U.S. power grid is proposing a change that has the potential to disrupt electric clocks in schools, hospitals and other institutions, according to a company presentation obtained by The Associated Press. It may also mess with the timing of traffic lights, security systems, sprinklers and some personal computer software and hardware.

...Joe McClelland, head of electric reliability for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...said..."Let's see if anyone complains if we eliminate it." [the fine frequency control over the grid]

...In the future, more use of renewable energy from the sun and wind will mean more variations in frequency on the grid, McClelland said. Solar and wind power can drop off the grid with momentary changes in weather. Correcting those deviations is expensive and requires instant back-up power to be always at the ready, he said.

...Tim O'Brian, who heads the time and frequency division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, expects widespread effects. _AP
It is a lot of trouble and risk just to incorporate highly unreliable and expensive power technology such as wind and solar into a power grid which has served the nation very well until now. But it is the sort of quasi-malicious "playing around to see what works and what fails" which we are coming to expect from the Obama administration.

More information from Anthony Watts

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