Mon. Feb. 22, 2021 – no school for you! so sayth the school board…

Mild and dry.  Hopefully.   Beyond that, I don’t care.

Nice day on Sunday, if a bit overcast for most of the day.    Shirtsleeves and shorts if one was so inclined.

I did get some stuff cleaned up.   I got a couple of the raised beds weeded and ready for planting.   I’ve got a couple more to go.

The citrus trees all have crunchy dry leaves, but waxy and supple branches.   I’m cautiously hopeful that they will survive.     The two in pots that I took inside have dropped most of their leaves but are in bloom and smell fantastic.   I hope they’ll be fine with a return to outdoors, light and water…

The big koi fish in the small pond survived.  He had 55 gallons of water to hide in, but there was about an inch and a half of ice on the top for two days.    He seems ok now that the ice is gone.

Lots of people walking down the street Sunday, including some I’ve never seen before.  Had a casual chat with one of them and he volunteered that the disaster was no big deal if you took some simple steps before hand, and it wasn’t even expensive to do so…  I agreed completely.

Get ready for the next one.   There will be one you know.

Today I have auction pickups to do (birthday present for a certain small child) and some household stuff, and since I’ll be on the south side of town, I’ll check what used to be the Sears Outlet for a scratch and dent clothes dryer.   Seems the dryer at the rent house stopped working, just before the cold snap.   I need to get that fixed so they can wash clothes.  The rental doesn’t usually need a lot of attention, but when it does, it tends to come in clumps.

Kids get another day off school, but my wife is working from home so she can keep them from burning the place down while I run errands.

After that, I’ll keep working the list at home, starting with finishing the cleaning up and putting away.   Gardening and getting some stuff done with electronics come next, and some radio stuff should happen too.

What did Jerry P say?  It’s a great life if you don’t weaken…

So stay strong and keep stacking.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

101 thoughts on “Mon. Feb. 22, 2021 – no school for you! so sayth the school board…”

  1. Ditto on the indoor citrus. We brought our lemon tree into the den where it shed about 80% of its leaves (this was coming regardless) and smelled great. It was back out by the pool on Saturday and had bees busily pollenating it both days. We are hoping for a crop this year, we have gone two years without a single lemon after four years of very good crops. Have not figured out what the issue is.
    Pretty much everything got put away yesterday and life is “back to normal.” I ordered the repair kit for the vacuum breaker this morning. This was pretty much the only damage we had outside of landscaping.
    Return to work in the office today after the last week of WFH.

  2. Wow, there were 14,550 of the Harlem Globetrotters produced. I have worked on mine extensively over the years (replaced motherboard, targets, etc) and it still needs work. Just as bad as a house !

    I’ve seen talks from the staff at Ground Kontrol in Portland. A retro arcade machine is a serious preservation effort as the machines cross the 40+ year mark. Pinball machines are even older.

    The MAME emulator powering the home arcade cabinets you see at Sam’s and WalMart at Christmas is not simply a way to play the games but an attempt to catalog and preserve the underlying hardware as closely as possible. Game play is secondary to archival goals to the point that I’ve only just been able to use the emulator to play “SmashTV” within the last decade.

    You don’t have a place to keep the pinball machine assembled at the office?

    My biggest disappointment from my Apple interview inside Bandley 3 was seeing how everything looked the same in the lobby as it did in pictures from the 80s *except* Woz’ “Defender” machine was gone.

  3. The more I hear Fauci mouth off, the more I am convinced he has done nothing but guess the entire time. I would certainly not be pleased to be a patient of Fauci. I would find someone more reliable, something like a witch doctor.

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  4. Home Depot run yesterday to get a piece of drywall to finally patch the hole in the garage wall behind the outdoor spigot from the self-inflicted broken pipe from a year ago. That hole was my biggest worry from last week, but the plumber who did the pipe repair wrapped everything in foam to the point that I didn’t have a problem with a break. Still I feel lucky.

    The plumbing aisle at HD was fenced off with customer access seemingly limited to about a half dozen people at a time. A steady stream of customers went through the gate.

    Something I’ve noticed in the last few days is Coke products in short supply around Austin. “Stripped” is probably a more accurate description. Home Depot’s refrigerated case was completely empty of all sodas except for the nasty (guessing) flavors of Monster.

    The HMart across the parking lot also had a bare soda aisle. I’ve been told repeatedly by the in-laws that Asians don’t like the stuff, but I wrote that off as BS a long time ago.

    (My wife’s cousins were routinely beaten for everything, including “wasting” money at the convenience store on the corner.)

    Diet Coke particularly is in short supply, but that has been the case around Austin for a while since that product is closely associated with Trump. Buc-ee’s is down to one nozzle out of dozens at all the locations we visit regularly.


  5. The more I hear Fauci mouth off, the more I am convinced he has done nothing but guess the entire time. I would certainly not be pleased to be a patient of Fauci. I would find someone more reliable, something like a witch doctor.

    What a sweet gig! The guy shoots off his mouth, flip flops for PC, and, draws a $400K+ salary. Where can I get a job like that?

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  6. The more I hear Fauci mouth off, the more I am convinced he has done nothing but guess the entire time. I would certainly not be pleased to be a patient of Fauci. I would find someone more reliable, something like a witch doctor.

    Notice Fauci didn’t lead Trump’s treatment team who pulled off the miracle of putting him back on the campaign trail within a week.

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  7. No ‘passport’… No soup for you…

    That will eventually happen here, but there still isn’t enough vaccine available to cover everyone.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the TSA require vaccination proof to board a domestic flight after Memorial Day, especially flights to/from Florida.

    Of course it will be political.

  8. Fauxci has never practiced as a doctor. He worked in a lab and then as a bureaucrat since he finished his medical training.

  9. My plans for today have changed. My wife is working at the office MWF this week, so I’m home with the kids.

    Time to reschedule some pickups.

    n


  10. ERCOT has engineered Texas for economics.

    The EIA.gov website has Texas at an average of 8.60 cents kWh in 2019, one of the cheapest out there. National averages are around 10.54. Looking at the state power contract website, I see 9.9 per kWh as the cheapest, most are around 10.5 cents. I don’t know if prices have really gone up that much, or if the EIA doesn’t figure in the hurricane surcharges we pay in some areas and the delivery charge, which is fixed. We probably could add a surcharge to everyone’s bill to add capacity without too much impact.

    But, I expect that it will fall into the usual pattern as described by Megan McArdle:
    -We have to do something!
    – This is something.
    – We have to do this!

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  11. Hmmm, @lynn was looking at the capacity dashboard, but maybe that total capacity was reduced by the DOE regs?

    I keep reading about how slow joe ‘declared a disaster’ in Texas and gave us $5M. I bet Tim T the sportsball player could raise $5M in 10 minutes. That’s about a dollar apiece for Houston and the surrounding areas residents. Maybe I’ll buy half a coffee.

    n

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  12. @ech, my Uncle called from the Chicago area to check up on us.

    During the call he mentioned that the local elected thieves got an electrical service surcharge approved and added to everyone’s bill so the poor utility could upgrade all the aging infrastructure.

    The monthly surcharge he pays is $60, which is more than the energy he uses.

    To add insult to injury, the elected ‘officials’ were accused of accepting bribes from the utility and several were convicted and sentenced but the SURCHARGE STILL STANDS.

    I don’t think I’d like any sort of surcharge. I already pay a bunch of surcharges on my telcom that have long outlived their purpose, I’m sure any charge on power or gas would do the same.

    n

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  13. Is Abbott a pussy?

    It isn’t so much a question of whether Abbott is spineless as it is what kind of deals he’s cutting to pursue the party’s agenda in the Legislature.

    In 2019, Abbott and the party wasted a bunch of time and political capital pursuing tighter restrictions on abortion while the Prog Mayors ran wild. I call it “chasing Ann Richards ghost” since Richards’ daughter ran Planned Parenthood until … last year (?).

  14. I don’t think I’d like any sort of surcharge. I already pay a bunch of surcharges on my telcom that have long outlived their purpose, I’m sure any charge on power or gas would do the same.

    Just wait. Oncor is going to want a surcharge for infrastructure improvements in the near future in Texas.

    Buffett always wins. One of the recent Simple Homespun Wisdom letters included a lecture on capital allocation vs. return on investment for additional money spent. Again, I don’t think it a coincidence that the latest letter is late.

  15. Today’s official update from FEMA, part 1

    note that numbers in parenthesis are changes from yesterday’s report

    Winter Storms – Southern Plains

    Situation: Recovery efforts continue across areas impacted by the winter storm. Energy lifelines are
    beginning to stabilize; water system outages and boil water advisories continue to impact the region and
    require federal support.

    Lifeline Impacts:

    Food, Water, and Shelter:

    Shelters: (NRCC SLB, 6:00 a.m. ET, Feb 22)
    ▪ TX: 161 congregate shelters / 23 (-309) warming stations; 1,768 total occupants; non-congregate 4
    occupants in 3 rooms; OK: 3 (-1) shelters, 0 (-3) warming stations, 44 (-4) occupants; LA: 1 shelter, 1 (-
    285) occupant

    Water / Food:
    ▪ LA: 307 (+24) Boil Water Advisories affecting 1.26M (-40k) residents; 55 (-20) water systems outages
    affecting 97k (-15k) (RVI SLB 6:00 p.m. ET, Feb 21)
    o LANG conducting POD planning for long term water distribution
    o 194.4k liters of water shipped to Esler for redistribution
    ▪ TX: 1,337 (+223) Boil Water Advisories affecting 14M residents; 379 water system outages affecting
    123k residents; 11.2M (+2M) liters of water requested (NRCC SLB, 6:00 a.m. ET, Feb 22)
    ▪ TX: 12 out of 21 food banks reporting unmet needs; 8.5M (+2.3M) meals requested (NRCC SLB 6:00 a.m.
    ET, Feb 22)

    Health and Medical:

    ▪ Fatalities: LA: 5 (+2) confirmed; TX: 9 confirmed (RVI, 4:34 p.m. ET, Feb 21)
    ▪ Health Care Facilities: AR: 12 closed; 8 partially closed; LA: 2 closed, 9 partially closed; OK: 1 closed, 51
    partially closed; TX: 115 closed, 501 partially closed, 89 unknown
    ▪ LA: 47 hospitals reporting water issues; 0 (-1) hospitals/nursing homes on generator power (NRCC SLB,
    6:00 a.m. ET, Feb 22)
    ▪ Dialysis, oxygen, and blood supply identified as areas of concern, multiple dialysis centers closed due to
    power/water pressure issues/boil water notices (RVI SLB 6:30 p.m. ET, Feb 20)
    ▪ TX: RRF 410 oxygen cylinders requested; expected to be delivered Today (FEMA Logistics, Feb 20)

    Energy: (Eagle-I, 7:45 a.m. ET, Feb 22)

    ▪ TX: 15.5k (-11.5k) customers without power (peak 3.4M)
    ▪ Gas and oil production wells coming back online (SLB 6:00 a.m. ET, Feb 21)
    ▪ 11 refineries full or near-full shutdown, impacting approximately 3.7M
    barrels per day (b/d); 20% of total U.S. capacity; some refineries may
    be offline for weeks for repairs (ESF #12 Situation Report #10, 11:14 a.m. ET, Feb 20)

    — note in the second part, the things that are JUST NOW arriving at STAGING POINTS and haven’t been deployed yet. They’re going to be deployed AFTER the need is addressed.

    Winter Storms – Southern Plains

    State / Local Response:

    ▪ LA,TX, & OK at Partial Activation (Winter Storm & COVID)
    ▪ AR EOC at Partial Activation (COVID)
    ▪ TX & OK Governors declared States of Emergency

    FEMA / Federal Response:
    ▪ Region VI/Denton MOC Enhanced Watch; RRCC at Level I; IMAT-1 deployed to NM and OK;
    IMAT-2 deployed to TX (Winter Storm & COVID)
    ▪ NWC is monitoring; NRCC at Level I (COVID)
    ▪ HHS declared a Public Health Emergency for TX
    ▪ Emergency Declarations approved OK, LA, & TX; Major Disaster Declaration approved TX
    ▪ National IMAT-RED deployed to Denton, TX
    ▪ 60 generators turned over to Texas to support critical infrastructure
    ▪ 10k Diesel ordered for TX, awaiting ETA from DLA (RVI SLB 6:00 p.m. ET, Feb 20)
    ▪ 4.2M (+600k) liters of water received in staging areas; 3.9M (2.4M) liters of water shipped
    to TX (LCSMS 4:30 a.m. ET, Feb 22)
    ▪ TX: 2 mobile water sampling labs arrived in Ft. Worth & Houston to assist with bacteriological
    analysis: 1 additional lab from Atlanta leaves today enroute to Austin (RVI SLB 6:00 p.m.ET, Feb 21)
    ▪ 3.3M (+2M) meals received in staging area; 1M (+774k) meals shipped to TX (LCSMS 4:30 a.m.
    ET, Feb 22)
    ▪ 126k blankets requested; complete order shipped to TX (LCSMS; 8:34 p.m. ET, Feb 20)
    ▪ Incident Support Base (ISB)/Forward Staging Area (FSA) at Seguin, TX (RVI SLB 6:00 p.m. ET, Feb 20)
    o Staging Management Team (SMT) and ISB Bravo Team deployed to support
    ▪ Second staging base contract for Dallas awarded; expected operational Feb 23; FEMA team
    will oversee contract workforce (Logistics Call Notes 6:30 p.m. ET, Feb 21)
    ▪ Expected contract approval for TX staging area at Hurricane Harbor Splashtown on Feb 22;
    deploying 1 LSCMS and 1 transportation expert for accountability and planning support
    (Logistics Call Notes 6:30 p.m. ET, Feb 21)

    ▪ USACE Type 3 Power Restoration Team staged in DFW (RVI SLB 6:30 p.m. ET, Feb 20)
    ▪ MERS deployed to Austin & Seguin, TX (RVI SLB 6:00 p.m. ET, Feb 21)
    ▪ 50 ALS ambulances arrived at forward locations: Arlington:20; San Antonio: 15;
    Houston: 15
    ▪ FEMA resources/supplies being delivered by the state to the county level
    supporting food banks, fire stations, schools, PODs, and individuals (RVI SLB 6:00 p.m

  16. The take away from the FEMA update is we’re down to 1800 people in shelters and most of the aid won’t get here until it’s no longer needed. I’m sure the food and water will get used, but the 125K blankets? Some of them will probably join the dozen I have in deep storage.

    n

  17. — note in the second part, the things that are JUST NOW arriving at STAGING POINTS and haven’t been deployed yet. They’re going to be deployed AFTER the need is addressed.

    I’ve seen in person the staging operation at Disney World for utility crews whenever a hurricane threatens the FL peninsula. Everything is ready before the storm hits. Something was definitely amiss in Texas.

  18. https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/first-texas-freeze-casualty-just-energy-implodes-issues-going-concern-warning

    —stunning to me, is that they skate right past this tidbit

    Just Energy hit a record low ($4.05) in premarket trading since it went public in 2002… and peaked above $600 in 2007.

    That’s a lot of money that went somewhere….. oh right, it never existed (well some of it did, people were still buying in thru the rise and fall.)

    n

  19. That’s a lot of money that went somewhere….. oh right, it never existed (well some of it did, people were still buying in thru the rise and fall.)

    I receive fliers in the mail all the time for “green” energy retailers and/or TXU alternatives who promise lower rates through buying electricity at “market prices”.

    I figure all of those outfits are going to implode after last week. The hipsters can’t afford the coming $10,000 power bills. I have TXU at the house, and I’m on a fixed rate plan with bills running $100 to 300 depending on the time of year.

    The stock market hasn’t been based in reality for more than a decade.


  20. I figure all of those outfits are going to implode after last week. The hipsters can’t afford the coming $10,000 power bills. I have TXU at the house, and I’m on a fixed rate plan with bills running $100 to 300 depending on the time of year.

    Most of the absurd bills being bandied about in the press are from Griddy customers, which charges wholesale for your use plus $10/month. Griddy is great if there isn’t a spike, and can be cheaper than a fixed or variable rate plan.

    I’m not sure what the fixed plans are going to do with passing through the wholesale price spike. TXU and the others that own generating plants won’t be in bad shape, as they will be paying themselves the high price, so they could cushion the impact by writing it off on the retail side from the increased prices on the wholesale price. Griddy may get stuck unless the PUC steps in and retroactively cuts the wholesale prices during the blackout. Which they may or may not be able to do.

    If there isn’t a cut in the spike prices, one of the major beneficiaries of the spike will be Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys. He is said to have major investments in gas fired plants that stayed up in the storm. I guess he will be able to afford to pay Dak Prescott a market rate QB contract.

  21. Holy crow, the cops are doing something on the scanner that is sure to be in the news later.

    They have been surveilling a house, and getting ready to make entry for some reason.

    They have attacked the house with 40mm gas grenades and are wearing gas masks. They haven’t been able to enter though. They are discussing where to put the sniper and that if they put him in xxxx he’ll be shooting toward the entry team.

    They broke the water lines somehow, and had to shut off the water in the garage.

    They still haven’t made entry.

    They have sent in or tried to send in the ‘weasel’ camera bot…

    The entry team just asked for 40 MORE feet of det cord, “in case they have trouble getting thru the second door”.

    So they’ve tear gassed and flash banged the guy and they still can’t get in without a breaching team.

    n


  22. The entry team just asked for 40 MORE feet of det cord, “in case they have trouble getting thru the second door”.

    So they’ve tear gassed and flash banged the guy and they still can’t get in without a breaching team.

    n

    40′ of det cord!? Are they taking the whole house down, or are the doors solid steel.

  23. If there isn’t a cut in the spike prices, one of the major beneficiaries of the spike will be Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys. He is said to have major investments in gas fired plants that stayed up in the storm. I guess he will be able to afford to pay Dak Prescott a market rate QB contract.

    After Tampa’s victory, market rate for a top tier quarterback means a team ready to make a serious run at a ring, with a decent supporting cast, salary cap room to build, and a hungry coaching staff. That hasn’t been Dallas for a long time.

    Dak Prescott in San Francisco next year wouldn’t surprise me.

  24. Huh, it was the suspect’s birthday today. Happy birthday. Now go to jail.

    n

  25. @mr atoz, not just ’40ft’ 40 MORE feet for a second door! maybe it was a stash house, or a counting room?

    n


  26. It isn’t so much a question of whether Abbott is spineless as it is what kind of deals he’s cutting to pursue the party’s agenda in the Legislature.

    As the old saying goes, “The fish stinks from the head.” But let’s see how good the voters’ memories are by November of 2022.

  27. One of the auction sites had a globe for sale.

    The listing was “Desk Map, round”

    I weep for what we’ve lost.

    n

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  28. @Nick from yesterday:

    If we are on the downslope of civilization, locally and at least at this time, history tells us that we can expect systems to break down, and function poorly before they cease functioning entirely.

    I don’t think the grid will be getting MORE reliable any time soon. I’m betting money that it will get worse over time.

    Electrical outages will increase in frequency and longevity. City water will have outages and issues. Several cities are already seeing this.

    Police, mail, trash collection, graffiti control, road debris pickup, etc will all degrade.

    More and more it will be about who you know and who you blow. Which palms need to be greased.

    It won’t be sudden but one day we’ll suddenly realize we’re there.

    You only slump down to 3rd world conditions if you allow that. You have choices. As Lynn points out, you have a state electrical system designed to deliver lowest cost power, not reliable power. That’s a regulatory failure due to decisions taken by politicians to prioritize price over power. If you want more reliability you can fix that by regulating reliability back into the system and making it clear to politicians it’s worth their jobs to oppose that. I like the idea of being prepared. I also like the idea of living in a country/state (province) where it is likely I will never need to use those preps.

  29. ” I also like the idea of living in a country/state (province) where it is likely I will never need to use those preps. ”

    –I don’t think such a place exists…..

    and I don’t think we can vote our way out of this, although we can slow it down locally.

    Cali wildfires and PG&E come to mind, the great NY blackout caused by ONE device failing, crumbling infrastructure is not a problem local to one area, it’s widespread.

    NIMBY keeps refineries and power plants from being built all across the country. Environmental activism is hobbling hydro.

    Everyone CLAIMS they want clean reliable power until you try to build a nuke plant, or put a wind turbine in view of shore, or double people’s cost per kWhr. Then it’s all screeching about “the poor” and how increasing rates affects black and brown people most….

    and nothing gets done.

    n


  30. and I don’t think we can vote our way out of this, although we can slow it down locally.

    The treaty that ends CW II will need to address this…

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  31. You don’t have a place to keep the pinball machine assembled at the office?

    Plenty of space. It takes several hours to put it back together. Two hours of reassembly and several hours of testing. Just one more thing to do in life.


  32. ” I also like the idea of living in a country/state (province) where it is likely I will never need to use those preps. ”

    –I don’t think such a place exists…..

    and I don’t think we can vote our way out of this, although we can slow it down locally.

    Cali wildfires and PG&E come to mind, the great NY blackout caused by ONE device failing, crumbling infrastructure is not a problem local to one area, it’s widespread.

    NIMBY keeps refineries and power plants from being built all across the country. Environmental activism is hobbling hydro.

    Everyone CLAIMS they want clean reliable power until you try to build a nuke plant, or put a wind turbine in view of shore, or double people’s cost per kWhr. Then it’s all screeching about “the poor” and how increasing rates affects black and brown people most….

    and nothing gets done.

    “..likely I will never need to use those preps…” is not that same as I will never need to use or don’t need the preps. Stuff happens and that’s what you prepare for. I would argue part of prepping includes working to have your overall jurisdiction (city / county / state, whatever) operate in a competent fashion so I can continue to use my bunker as a root cellar.

    As to voting your way out of it, for this specific example and paraphrasing Lynn, you had reliable power until the system changed in the 1990s. That change wasn’t magic. Changing back won’t be magic either. That is not to say it will be easy as there will be people and interests that like it the way it is now.

    I agree totally on the NIMBY problem. I want more nuclear plants for Ontario. I will likely get more windmills with backup gas generation (buying 2 sets of generating equipment (grrrr!!!) but at least it will be reliable). There will be fights over where to put the windmills and gas plants.

    The poor will always get hit worse by price increases in anything. Best mitigation is having less poor, but that is a long term project (bring back the middle class). Of course, that means you need to start now (a quote about Napoleon and shade trees comes to mind).


  33. wasted a bunch of time and political capital pursuing tighter restrictions on abortion

    I never understood that. In the end, IMHO, being against abortion is a religious stance. Too many conservative politicians put it front and center, which alienates all the less or non-religious conservatives.

  34. Thread:

    ‘Sick’: DAMNING thread exposes the absolute DISASTER Biden’s admin was in handling deadly Texas storm (with receipts!)

    Was there extra generating power Tejas could have activated? Is Abbott a pussy? Can Mr. Lynn chime in if this is true (not Abbott being a pussy)?

    Combustion is just a special case of a chemical process. All chemical processes have three limits:
    1. thermal limit (melt down) (or cannot fire any harder due to burner size, lack of fuel, lack of oxygen, etc)
    2. mechanical limit (pressure is too high and the parts got scattering to the four winds) (pressure is too low and not enough stuff can get through the process)
    3. emission limit (SO2 limit on permit, particulate limits of exhaust to the atmosphere, increase in cooling water temperature across the process is generally limited to 20 F before sending back to lake, Nitrous Oxide, etc)

    All of the coal units have fairly hard emission limits. The Biden administration EPA refused to relax the limits until the price of electricity hit a certain amount which happened. And there was no electricity available from the eastern grid states as they had their own issues so the price zoomed immediately.

    All of the power plants have thermal, mechanical, and emission limits. For instance, the gas turbines use lean burn burners and water injection for NOx reduction and their emission permits state those limits based on their grandfatherness and technology. But when they exceed those Nox limits, they run into their thermal limits rather quickly. All gas turbines are rated for two temperature levels, continuous and 15 minutes (also known as military power or takeoff power level). After 15 minutes, the gs turbine combustion parts start inelastic deformation (melting). On a GE Frame 7E (65 MW), the thermal limits are 1,600 F and 1,650 F if I remember correctly. On a GE Frame 9 (260 ??? MW), the first thermal limit is 2,600 F (the entire combustion path is ceramic with intrinsic air cooling).

    We never ran our gas turbines at the 15 minute level in the 1980s at TXU. When we pulled the metal combustion pots for the first overhaul, every single one had cracks due to thermal issues. I went out to west Texas, looked at them with the onsite engineer and the GE engineer. All three of us shook our heads. All of the combustion pots went back to Schenectady, NY for full rebuilds of grinding out the cracks and welding in new metal. We put our spare set of combustion pots in and had to delay the next gas turbine outage, which was not good as we had 15 of the monsters to inspect and rebuild. We may have bought another set of combustion pots for another cool million dollars.

    So, in answer to your question, maybe 200 or 300 MW (SWAG !!!) more without the emission limits in place. But the thermal and mechanical limits would have hit quickly after the emission limits.

  35. — note in the second part, the things that are JUST NOW arriving at STAGING POINTS and haven’t been deployed yet. They’re going to be deployed AFTER the need is addressed.

    I’ve seen in person the staging operation at Disney World for utility crews whenever a hurricane threatens the FL peninsula. Everything is ready before the storm hits. Something was definitely amiss in Texas.

    We were not ready. And most extreme winter storms in Texas hit between Dec 15 to Feb 15. People are usually running their air conditioners by Feb 15.

  36. gentlemen
    I read here that you buy your renewed/refurbished/whatever laptops iat…… (not ebay) could someone pointer to that?

    thanks

  37. Most of the absurd bills being bandied about in the press are from Griddy customers, which charges wholesale for your use plus $10/month. Griddy is great if there isn’t a spike, and can be cheaper than a fixed or variable rate plan.

    I’m not sure what the fixed plans are going to do with passing through the wholesale price spike. TXU and the others that own generating plants won’t be in bad shape, as they will be paying themselves the high price, so they could cushion the impact by writing it off on the retail side from the increased prices on the wholesale price. Griddy may get stuck unless the PUC steps in and retroactively cuts the wholesale prices during the blackout. Which they may or may not be able to do.

    If there isn’t a cut in the spike prices, one of the major beneficiaries of the spike will be Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys. He is said to have major investments in gas fired plants that stayed up in the storm. I guess he will be able to afford to pay Dak Prescott a market rate QB contract.

    I am sorry but anyone using http://www.griddy.com is foolish. There is nothing between you and the overall cost of the electricity. The electricity can be 1 $/MWH for fifteen minutes and then 10,000 $/MWH the next fifteen minutes.

    TXU does not own any power generation units anymore, they were all spun off to Vistra Energy at the bankruptcy of TXU. Nor does it own any electric meters, those four million meters got bought by Oncor (Warren Buffet).
    https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2016/11/04/luminant-and-txu-energy-have-a-newly-named-corporate-parent-vistra/

    Any responsible electricity provider now hedges their electricity purchases through Wall Street. I have no idea who hedges and who does not.

    BTW, the average MWH cost in Texas for February so far is over a 1,000 $/MWH. That is absurd. The average cost over the last ten years is around 30 to 40 $/MWH.

  38. I agree totally on the NIMBY problem. I want more nuclear plants for Ontario. I will likely get more windmills with backup gas generation (buying 2 sets of generating equipment (grrrr!!!) but at least it will be reliable). There will be fights over where to put the windmills and gas plants.

    But probably your windmills will have heating systems in them to remove ice from the blades. Apparently those heating systems are quite expensive and less than half of the windmills in Texas have them.

    I wonder if ERCOT will force the windmills to install the heating systems ? I would.

  39. A good summary of what is known to have gone wrong in the Texas blackout, and some of the ways to prevent it. From a roundtable hosted by UT Arlington (which has a really good power program in their EE department).
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/02/ask-an-engineer/

    “Is this going to happen again?

    “It very well might. This wasn’t one failure but a complex of interrelated failures, and fixing one or two of the issues won’t fix the overall problem.”

    ““Everything went wrong,” Amin says.”

    “For perspective, Houseman points out that Texas was obliged to try to produce enough power to cover nearly a month of ordinary usage in four days.”

    Yup. Gonna happen this summer too if we have an extreme weather event (115 F in Dallas, 110 F in Houston, last happened on Labor Day of 1999). The wind don’t blow when it gets REAL hot in Texas.

    I would advise being able to make your own power at your home. And maybe your business, but I have yet to think that through. I do not want to put a $25,000 generator and pull a $10,000 natural gas line to my business today. But, if I have to add a fire station to my commercial property then I have already been told that I must have a generator for the new pumps and water well.

  40. “It’s only insurrection during daylight hours”

    When I lived in Iowa, there was a charge of “burglary in the night.” Presumably there was another charge for daytime. I never knew which had more severe penalties, if any. The result, your stuff gone, is the same. Maroons!

  41. “Those damned Rednecks in flyover country.”
    https://gunfreezone.net/those-damned-rednecks-in-flyover-country/

    “So I went into work today to check up on my store and they took all the water I had outside my store understandable everyone needs water and I had almost 100 in 7-11 pk and probably 40 of aquafina outside and then when we looked into the store I find this…they left me 620 in cash different ppl I was like wow ❤ My store made 620 dollars when it was closed.”

    Neat !

  42. Traditional English Common Law, from which we derive the American legal system (except in Louisiana) defined burglary as breaking and entering a dwelling at night with the intent to commit a crime. The scope of the crime expanded over the years. “Burglary at night” is a return to its roots, and in particular to the severity of the original crime.

    Under Common Law, felonies were severe crimes punishable by death, though it was often commuted to a lesser penalty. This is why felons traditionally had reduced civil rights: they couldn’t vote because they were dead men, alive only by the mercy of the state. (That was the justification. I’m not saying I agree with it.) Of course, nowadays we have so many laws defining felonies (some of them secret laws, even) that the idea of a felon being a threat to the structure of society is ludicrous. A man shouldn’t be able to vote or defend himself because a government office claims that he didn’t file paperwork in a timely and complete fashion?


  43. I read here that you buy your renewed/refurbished/whatever laptops iat…… (not ebay) could someone pointer to that?
    @ayjblog; it’s the Lenovo Outlet.

  44. When I lived in Iowa, there was a charge of “burglary in the night.”

    –texas gun law has different authority for shooting people in defense of property if it happens at night.

    n

  45. Cut my hair and shaved. Didn’t shave the beard or mustache. I guess the hair cut kit has now paid for itself twice over.

    Looked at our local rag online and nothing about a police raid with flashbangs, robots, and explosive entry. WTF is a local paper good for if they don’t even know about or cover something like that? Hundreds of neighbors must have seen that a big deal was going down…

    n


  46. WTF is a local paper good for if they don’t even know about or cover something like that

    But the rag probably had some front page story about a minority family complaining about no heat for 8 hours in their rent free home paid for by welfare. Complaining about how life is not fair.

  47. You know, Ray, once in a while I detect a hint of cynicism in your comments.

  48. Well, I use newspapers to start fires in our fireplace. Seems fitting if I go back to inflammatory reporting. 🙂


  49. I detect a hint of cynicism in your comments.

    And to think I was trying to be optimistic and show my “woke” side.

    2
  50. @SteveF, thanks. I thought it might be something like that, but didn’t bother to look it up. With the prog makeover of our society, both spouses XXXXX partners have to work, making it much safer to be a burglar in the daytime. Just drive a truck with commercial markings, or a moving van, and haul stuff off. The neighbors will never suspect a thing… except, of course in neighborhoods where people still know each other.

    Reminds me of a friend whose son and wife lived somewhere in West Texas back in the 1970s. Not to pick on TX, it just happened to be there. Anyway, he parked his Harley on their front porch, probably to keep it sheltered from rain. They went to dinner, and when they returned it had been stolen. They noticed their neighbors had been on their porch when they left and returned, so asked them what they had seen. They said someone in a van with “some sort of dealer markings” had picked it up. They just assumed he was having it serviced. I know it sounds like a made-up story, but it isn’t. Who would have thought (especially in those times and that place) to mention security aspects to neighbors?

    Having heard this story, I always told every neighbor that, unless we told them in advance, no one would enter our house or take anything while we were away. If they ever had the slightest suspicion, simply call the police and let them sort it out. That was back in the day when the police would actually respond in a timely manner. Of course, having done that, nothing ever happened. Nature always has other ways to surprise us.

  51. OK, now I have the carpet pulled out of my small office building. And the dadgum water valve for the building is leaking by, about a gallon every ten minutes or so. And then I had an “oh duh” moment and realized that there was a faucet a foot above the building valve. I pulled the freeze cone off the faucet, opened it, and now there is a trickle of water running onto the ground instead of up into the building ceiling.

    And the pinball machine parts are now in the office. I got a couple of my guys and the dolly and we moved that 300+ lbs of stuff. Maybe one of these days I will put it together and test it out. Maybe I will sell it !

  52. With the prog makeover of our society, both spouses XXXXX partners have to work, making it much safer to be a burglar in the daytime.

    Hey, are you exempting polygamous unions ?

  53. Hey, are you exempting polygamous unions ?

    I guess Jim is just a plain ol’ hater. -sorrowful head shake-

    A woman at work (whom I’ve never met because she was hired after the company went to 100% remote work) occasionally refers to her wife. The first time it came up it was in response to a wisecrack of mine about my wife; she replied with almost the same words about her wife, so I thought she was joking. It came up in later, non joking, conversations, so apparently she’s serious. I can only conclude that my initial assumption, that she was joking about having a wife, makes me a hater, too.

    I’ll note that I support gay marriage. As the joke goes, why should they miss out on the chance to spend their lives with someone they grow to despise? It’s uncommon, though.


  54. Anyway, he parked his Harley on their front porch, probably to keep it sheltered from rain. They went to dinner, and when they returned it had been stolen. They noticed their neighbors had been on their porch when they left and returned, so asked them what they had seen. They said someone in a van with “some sort of dealer markings” had picked it up. They just assumed he was having it serviced. I know it sounds like a made-up story, but it isn’t. Who would have thought (especially in those times and that place) to mention security aspects to neighbors?

    Having heard this story, I always told every neighbor that, unless we told them in advance, no one would enter our house or take anything while we were away. If they ever had the slightest suspicion, simply call the police and let them sort it out. That was back in the day when the police would actually respond in a timely manner. Of course, having done that, nothing ever happened. Nature always has other ways to surprise us.

    That is relatively common. When I was living in the barracks in the USAF someone pulled up in a pick-up truck, wheeled out the big screen TV from the dayroom, loaded it up, and drove off. It was never seen again. When they investigated they encountered several people who saw it happen and ask them why they didn’t raise an alarm. The general response was basically, “I assumed they were supposed to be taking it. Who would pull up in front of a barracks in the middle of broad daylight and take a big screen TV unless they were supposed to?” It’s rather ingenius. 🙂


  55. I’ll note that I support gay marriage

    I neither support, nor reject gay marriage. If they want to marry whomever (or whatever) they want, go ahead. Just don’t ask me to jump for joy, attend the ceremony, give wedding gifts or otherwise celebrate the decision. Don’t rub it in my face and flaunt in front of me. If I were to flaunt my heterosexual union in front of them they get really bent out of shape. Well, hoo-rah, give me the same consideration and just keep your mouths shut about playing with common like body parts on another person.

  56. @Lynn

    I agree totally on the NIMBY problem. I want more nuclear plants for Ontario. I will likely get more windmills with backup gas generation (buying 2 sets of generating equipment (grrrr!!!) but at least it will be reliable). There will be fights over where to put the windmills and gas plants.

    But probably your windmills will have heating systems in them to remove ice from the blades. Apparently those heating systems are quite expensive and less than half of the windmills in Texas have them.

    I wonder if ERCOT will force the windmills to install the heating systems ? I would.

    I did some quick (certainly not complete) reading on this. Hydro Quebec is looking into a heating system you can retrofit to the outside of the blade while New Brunswick (I think) was experimenting with blades that had integral hot air heating. Other places de-ice by spraying on anti-freeze, like with ice on aircraft. Problems I recall from reading is that Hydro Quebec found you needed to dismount the blades to do an effective install, and I think the blade needed to be built for the hot-air system. Certainly such systems exist or are being tried-out: they may not be cheap or easy or possible to install on existing windmills. Wind power really isn’t what failed anyhow, or let’s say the amount of wind that failed is small compared to the failure of NG plants. I think you would be better to just build more backup NG plants (since nuclear is not possible) and make all the NG plants more resistant to cold weather. Additional advantage of doing that is you will have more power available (wind plus NG) if required for your summer peaks. But, better minds than mine will look at this and for much longer. Hope they decide it is a problem worth solving.


  57. I read here that you buy your renewed/refurbished/whatever laptops iat…… (not ebay) could someone pointer to that?
    @ayjblog; it’s the Lenovo Outlet.

    I have had success buying refurbished laptops ( 2 Dell models) from Staples. My experience is with Staples in Canada, but I assume similar is available in the USA.


  58. I think you would be better to just build more backup NG plants (since nuclear is not possible) and make all the NG plants more resistant to cold weather. Additional advantage of doing that is you will have more power available (wind plus NG) if required for your summer peaks.

    And your new choking point will be the pipelines and which you can’t build, can you? 🙂

    2
  59. Gov Abbott sends out an email once a week. This week’s has coldamaggedon in it. And here’s a perfect example of why we need to burn the whole thing down.

    WAIVING CERTAIN REGULATIONS TO HELP DELIVER RESOURCES TO TEXAS FAMILIES

    I temporarily waived certain regulations from the Department of Motor Vehicles to aid in the response to winter weather throughout the state.

    The waivers will allow commercial vehicles conducting responsive activities to travel in Texas as long as the vehicle is registered elsewhere. They will also allow commercial vehicles conducting responsive activities not currently registered under the International Registration Plan to travel in Texas, so long as the vehicle is registered in one of the 48 contiguous states in the U.S.

    –what the everloving F?

    –and WE are going to be paying for upgrades

    DECLARING POWER SYSTEM WINTERIZATION, RELATED FUNDING AS EMERGENCY ITEMS

    As part of the state’s response to winter weather and power outages, I have declared a new emergency item for this legislative session.

    I am asking the Legislature to mandate the winterization of Texas’ power system and for the Legislature to ensure the necessary funding for winterization.

    –more regulation getting in the way

    Supporting local officials as they work to restore water for Texans. I issued waivers to cut red tape to accelerate this process. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ), as of 5 PM Friday, is standing up a phone bank for local water utilities who are unable to get water testing at their contracted labs. This phone bank will connect local facilities with another lab that can test their water quickly.

    –and apparently our Parks and Wildlife has more than 50 drones

    SENDING ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO LOCAL OFFICIALS THROUGHOUT TEXAS

    The State of Texas is deploying maximum resources to local officials throughout the state to respond to severe winter weather and to restore power to our communities.

    –snip–
    -Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 585 personnel, 531 4×4 vehicles, 50 UAS, 1 aircraft, and 9 K9 teams

    n

  60. Wind power really isn’t what failed anyhow, or let’s say the amount of wind that failed is small compared to the failure of NG plants.

    Sorry, but that is a very big wrong. Wind power went from 40+% of the power in Texas to 2% of the power. Solar dropped significantly also.

    “Data Shows Wind Power Failure was Chief Cause of Massive Texas Power Shortage”
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/581392/

    “Texas to boost grid resilience with more wind & solar, according to Clean Technica”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/22/texas-to-boost-grid-resilience-with-more-wind-solar-according-to-clean-technica/

    “ERCOT’s single biggest failure was the lack of reliable backup capacity for wind power… ERCOT expected the wind power to fail under these conditions. It appears to me that the only way ERCOT could have made it through this unscathed, would have been for natural gas, coal and nuclear power to have delivered 80-90% of capacity for 7-10 days during record-cold weather (20-40 °F below normal in the DFW area) with a system geared toward hotter than normal weather. This was not a realistic expectation. ERCOT also failed to be sufficiently proactive in implementing rotating outages and when they did, they were unable to adequately rotate the outages.”

    So ERCOT expected the wind power to fail. And then it expected the coal, nuclear, and natural gas power plants to run at 80% to 90% for the duration of the extreme weather event ? From the 30% to 40% capacity that they were running before the extreme weather event ? That is planning to fail.

    Natural gas and coal power steam plants are all t-bucket hot rods. When online, they run at 120 mph down the road converting fossil fuels to electricity. Many of them were built in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the 1970s units are supercritical, running at a main steam temperature of 1,005 F and a pressure of 3,675 psia. They have hundreds of sensors that can immediately trip the unit offline. They have thousands of sensors trying to detect problems and monitor usage of fuel and air. Expecting these unit to sit offline for weeks or months and then suddenly jump online to max power for days on end is unrealistic.

    And then there is fuel. Nobody keeps a lot of fuel anymore, inventory costs money. All of our coal plants at TXU were mine mouth plants, the coal overburden (dirt and sand) was removed using thirteen huge draglines with 100+ ft3 buckets. I used to have a picture of one of the buckets with nine pickup trucks parked in it. The coal is removed by 100 net ton trucks with a 450 hp diesel electric in the front and a 350 hp diesel electric in the back that would drag the top of the coal seam with a diagonal blade to fill the hopper and then race to the plant. If we had three days of coal in the pile I was surprised since we ran the coal units wide open when we could. Nowadays, they get half of their coal out of Wyoming. Takes a 300 car coal train 3 to 7 days to get to Texas from Wyoming, depends on how many trains are going across the Royal Gorge. So if they did not have a lot of coal in the plant pile then they had to reduce load in order to stretch the pile.

    The natural gas lines in Texas performed much better than I expected. In other words, only half of them froze up from what I can tell. Most of the natural gas power plants are located on two or three natural gas pipelines. And the residential customers get the natural gas first. And like I said, the steam natural gas power plants need 80 psig of natural gas. The gas turbines need 400 psig of natural gas if they do not have a fuel compressor. That is asking a lot when everyone is sucking on that pipeline.

  61. BTW, the natural gas spot market in Texas jumped from $3/mmbtu two weeks ago to $600/mmbtu. So not only was natural gas fuel scarce since the demand went up by about a 1000%, the price also jumped 200X.

  62. Takes a 300 car coal train 3 to 7 days to get to Texas from Wyoming, depends on how many trains are going across the Royal Gorge. So if they did not have a lot of coal in the plant pile then they had to reduce load in order to stretch the pile

    So instead, the coal trains started rolling to the West Coast to load barges headed to China.

    The last year we were in Vantucky, the trains seemed to run all night.


  63. being against abortion is a religious stance

    I’ve never seen it that way. My views on killing innocents is not based in religion but common morality. I don’t need an invisible sky squid to tell me if it’s right or not.

    2
  64. being against abortion is a religious stance

    I’ve never seen it that way. My views on killing innocents is not based in religion but common morality.

    Kudos. I subscribe to both premises.

  65. I’m not religious and I think abortion is killing a human. Especially after the 24-week region where doctors can do a C-section, remove the baby, and keep it alive.

    Abortion during the first few months doesn’t bother me as much. This may not be logically consistent.

  66. –and WE are going to be paying for upgrades

    DECLARING POWER SYSTEM WINTERIZATION, RELATED FUNDING AS EMERGENCY ITEMS

    As part of the state’s response to winter weather and power outages, I have declared a new emergency item for this legislative session.

    I am asking the Legislature to mandate the winterization of Texas’ power system and for the Legislature to ensure the necessary funding for winterization.

    Winterization is no good unless they mandate people store two weeks of fuel at their plant site. And that is not going to happen unless somebody else pays for it. I would SWAG that the stored fuel would be 90% of the total cost.

    I am seeing that some of the natural gas power plants did have diesel fuel stored at their plants as they were burning their diesel instead of buying spot market natural gas at 600 $/mmbtu.

  67. Why would mandating fuel storage be necessary? Let the market do it.

    During the freeze, how many plants had to shut down or run slow because they didn’t have enough fuel on hand? How much more money could they have made if they’d had plenty of fuel and could run all-out when the spot price was a bazillion dollars per MWh? Let their boards — not the accountants with an eye only for the next quarter’s bottom line — decide how much more fuel to have on hand.

    If the market approach won’t work, why not?

    1
  68. Why would mandating fuel storage be necessary? Let the market do it.

    During the freeze, how many plants had to shut down or run slow because they didn’t have enough fuel on hand? How much more money could they have made if they’d had plenty of fuel and could run all-out when the spot price was a bazillion dollars per MWh? Let their boards — not the accountants with an eye only for the next quarter’s bottom line — decide how much more fuel to have on hand.

    If the market approach won’t work, why not?

    Because my sainted mother froze for four days during the snowpocalypse when she did not have electricity. Monday morning to Thursday at midnight. Dad did too but he is in better health. We must protect the most vulnerable in our society, the aged and the very young.

    We must bring back the concept that if you want to sell electricity to the grid, you must be able to serve in both the good times and the bad times. That means storing fuel onsite for the combusters, heaters for wind turbine blades, etc.

  69. Being beneficial for you or your kin is a lousy basis for setting policy. Acknowledged, though, that what’s good for you times a million people may be valid. (I don’t agree, myself, but I lean anarcho-capitalist or plain old anarchist.)

    One non-germane question about “my sainted mother”: Don’t you have to be dead to be sainted?

    4
    1
  70. One non-germane question about “my sainted mother”: Don’t you have to be dead to be sainted?

    Nope. She raised three boys to adulthood without killing any of us over the many times that we deserved it, she got sainthood for that. For instance, I am trying to remember how many times we set the house on fire …

    2
  71. @Lynn posted this:

    “Data Shows Wind Power Failure was Chief Cause of Massive Texas Power Shortage”
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/581392/

    His comment: ” Wind power went from 40+% of the power in Texas to 2% of the power. : describes what happened in the first part of February, when wind power on average, was producing about 40%.

    If you look at the graph (I’d much rather have the raw data. A graph in percentages is lacking a lot of information.) , it has a label “40% of Texas energy production shifted from wind to natural gas.” This purportedly describes what happened on February 9th, but the statement is deceptive. It is apparent from the graph that in the band from 0% to 50% during Jan 1-Feb 9 the contribution of solar + wind energy varies from 10% to 50%, with natural gas making up the difference.

    This is not the same at all.

    During Feb 1-9 the contribution of wind to the total power production averaged less than 20% (as measured by Mark I eyeball), varying between about 10 and 40%.

    As I understand it, solar and wind power has to be accepted as it is produced, regardless of whether it is needed. When either decreases, the slack is made up by fossil fuel plants. Hence my comment earlier that the true value of wind and solar is the avoided cost of fuel, because they are not reliable.

    Also previously noted, the system is based on 15-minute intervals. I think that the short interval and the requirement to take wind power into the system tilt the playing field. I’d like to see the modeling studies that resulted in selecting the 15-minute interval, and part of that should be an analysis of the ability of wind and solar to produce energy at future time as compared to conventional power plants.

    With solar the potential power is determined by time of day and the sun angle on the solar cells–factors that don’t change, and the level of clouds, which is variable. Predicting clouds 15 minutes ahead is not perfect, but high probability. Probability drops with longer intervals.

    Wind power is entirely dependent on the motion of the atmosphere. The potential power on a given day is determined by atmospheric pressure gradients that vary considerably and are difficult to predict more than a few days in advance. Again, 15 minutes ahead is high probability.

    For conventional power plants, 15-minutes is high probability, but 24 hours is not much less.

    A 24-hour window might work for solar, but probably not for wind.

    The studies have been done. The 15-minute interval wasn’t randomly chosen. I’d like to see the studies (modeling and simulation).

  72. If you look at the graph (I’d much rather have the raw data. A graph in percentages is lacking a lot of information.) , it has a label “40% of Texas energy production shifted from wind to natural gas.” This purportedly describes what happened on February 9th, but the statement is deceptive. It is apparent from the graph that in the band from 0% to 50% during Jan 1-Feb 9 the contribution of solar + wind energy varies from 10% to 50%, with natural gas making up the difference.

    I totally agree. There is a MWH graph out there for the first 20 days of February for ERCOT, I cannot find it again. I have seen it twice and failed to mark it each time. The graph is brutal. I though it was on https://wattsupwiththat.com/ but I cannot find it there now.

    BTW, ERCOT is getting ready to move the grid from 15 minute generation and billing intervals to 5 minutes. Or at least a document that I read on their site implies that. The dispatch forecast on wind is two hours.

    The grid appears to accept ALL wind and solar energy that can be sent from the generation areas to the load areas (mostly cities). Most of the wind turbines are located in west Texas. There are transmission limits from west Texas to east Texas (Dallas and Houston). The solar is distributed around the state. For instance, Fort Bend County where I live, has three solar farms that generate up to 330 ??? MW.

    And yes, wind and solar bear none of the burden for the spinning reserve, that is the level of power that the online plants can potentially generate beyond what they are actually generating. Only the steam coal and natural gas plants can provide spinning reserve. For which, they are not paid for.

  73. I am trying to remember how many times we set the house on fire …

    Ppfffttttt, you think that makes you special? I will raise you a 1/2 burned barn, and bullet holes in the roof of the house. Toss in one destroyed farm tractor and a flipped loaded hay truck and we can talk.

    I think many parents qualify because of stupid stuff done by kids.

    2
  74. The key phrase in the discussion is “public utility”.

    Public utilities operate under constraints because:

    1) they have to serve everyone

    2) they have a natural monopoly

    They are generally owned privately, but operate under limitations and in turn have certain guarantees on returns for investors.

    But the slicky boys always figure out how to game the system.

    The greenies hate fossil fuels and have spent years packing the regulatory system. Hence we have requirements mandated by the states. Solar and wind power generation do not make economic sense in large scale*. It is impossible to get the data on costs because the puc greenies and the state government greenies hide it.

    *If it made economic sense then where is it, aside from being mandated when the public pays for it? Has Ford, GM, or Tesla built solar and wind power sufficient to run any plants and then done so? Why are there public subsidies?

    In this case the slicky boys have put a 15-minute interval in to game the system and line their pockets. Now the system has fallen apart and the real butt-hurt has come down on citizens who have relied on government to run the public utility for the public.

  75. @SteveF
    A system that produces such high prices for electricity is not well-designed. In the case of a public utility it is prima facie evidence that people charged with protecting the public are not doing their jobs. The inevitable result is that the outcome will be changed after-the-fact, either by stiffing the supplier directly or indirectly (windfall profits?), or providing taxpayer-funded relief.

    I wonder if the enabling legislation exempted the parties from price-gouging statutes? Beware the hand of the slicky boys.

  76. One thought has been bothering me for several days:

    At what point are the progs going to target generator owners?

    I’d expect that the first requirement will be registration. Followed by maybe a little tax. Entry into a special database. Confiscation for the public good when the grid crashes, followed by allocation to the highest need, defined as the governor’s mansion, legislative chambers and offices, the sheriff’s, hospitals, shelters, maybe a lottery for peoples of color other than pink… Discovery of “right to electric power” in a penumbra somewhere.

  77. Cali already restricts and regulates gennies, they must be CARB compliant…. but not registered yet.

    Secondary market. Good for lots of things.

    The serial numbers are on tags, not steel….

    n

  78. @Lynn
    “BTW, ERCOT is getting ready to move the grid from 15 minute generation and billing intervals to 5 minutes. Or at least a document that I read on their site implies that. The dispatch forecast on wind is two hours.”

    Could you post a link?

    Why do I suspect that the justification for this is bogus, and might get an uncomfortable amount of scrutiny in the aftermath of the recent debacle? Why do I suspect that no one with the right authority will demand all of the simulation data, not just what’s in the carefully crafted report? Why do I suspect that phone records and emails would show interesting conversations?


  79. I would argue part of prepping includes working to have your overall jurisdiction (city / county / state, whatever) operate in a competent fashion so I can continue to use my bunker as a root cellar.

    “…competent…” Suggestions for any current jurisdictions to use as models? No, didn’t think so…

    As to voting your way out of it, for this specific example and paraphrasing Lynn, you had reliable power until the system changed in the 1990s. That change wasn’t magic. Changing back won’t be magic either. That is not to say it will be easy as there will be people and interests that like it the way it is now.

    But somehow both sides come to an agreement…and then they all sing Kumbaya, right?

    The poor will always get hit worse by price increases in anything. Best mitigation is having less poor, but that is a long term project (bring back the middle class).

    But no impact to the 1%ers, right, right?!

    Sorry, guess I woke up on the sarcastic side of the bed this morning.


  80. I’ve seen in person the staging operation at Disney World for utility crews whenever a hurricane threatens the FL peninsula. Everything is ready before the storm hits. Something was definitely amiss in Texas.

    I remember driving past the Florida State Fairgrounds the morning after Irma made landfall in Tampa and several of the parking lots looked like ‘linesmen bucket truck’ versions of the mega car dealerships I’d once seen alongside the highway in Dallas leading from the airport to our offices there.

  81. “Sorry, guess I woke up on the sarcastic side of the bed this morning. ”

    –but every morning you wake up is a good morning.

    there was a time in my life where my first thought and word upon waking was “shit” and it wasn’t because I’d soiled myself.

    Most days now, while I don’t leap up bursting with energy to conquer the day, I can at least get out of bed before the cursing starts 🙂

    n

  82. I am sorry but anyone using http://www.griddy.com is foolish. There is nothing between you and the overall cost of the electricity. The electricity can be 1 $/MWH for fifteen minutes and then 10,000 $/MWH the next fifteen minutes.

    Yet Abbott implores the TX Legislature to save the fools from themselves.
    All that 6 pt. fine print is there for a reason…maybe they should have read it before they checked the “I Agree” checkbox.


  83. But probably your windmills will have heating systems in them to remove ice from the blades.

    Any falling chunks of ice to avoid? (Or are those just more debris from that Boeing 777 that just flew by?)

  84. But probably your windmills will have heating systems in them to remove ice from the blades.

    Any falling chunks of ice to avoid? (Or are those just more debris from that Boeing 777 that just flew by?)

    Apparently they stop the windmill to put it through the warming cycle. After, the falling chunks of ice could damage another blade. Or, if the ice falls off at the right moment, be thrown for hundreds of feet.


  85. Apparently they stop the windmill to put it through the warming cycle. After, the falling chunks of ice could damage another blade. Or, if the ice falls off at the right moment, be thrown for hundreds of feet.

    All…ahem…already covered by the fine print you didn’t read when you signed the 99 year lease with the power company to let them stick a windmill in your backyard!

  86. @Lynn
    “BTW, ERCOT is getting ready to move the grid from 15 minute generation and billing intervals to 5 minutes. Or at least a document that I read on their site implies that. The dispatch forecast on wind is two hours.”

    Could you post a link?

    I thought it was on ERCOT’s about page but I do not see it now.

  87. From the wife:

    Dear Alaska,

    Thank you very much for our free three day trial.

    Please note that we DO NOT want to move forward with our residence application.

    Sincerely,
    Texas

  88. Thanks TV, looking into that, my wifes laptop is broken and I try to locate one identical due keyboard issues (ñ) after that i must send to my daughter, she is coming here and after that change the keyboard on the new one,
    Nothin is easy

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