In Texas, Wind power is supplanting coal power in capacity:
Speaking of Tesla's battery:Wind Power Capacity Has Surpassed Coal in Texas
Scientists at UT predict that by 2019, the state will get more energy from wind than coal.
DEC 2, 2017
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Wind turbine on the Texas prairie.
Wind power capacity edged out coal for the first time in the Texas history last week after a new 155-megawatt wind farm in Scurry County came online. The farm in question is the Fluvanna Wind Energy Project, located on some 32,000 acres leased from more than 130 landowners.
Fluvanna pushed total wind power capacity in the state to more than 20,000 megawatts, while coal capacity stands at 19,800 megawatts and is slated to fall to 14,700 megawatts by the end of 2018 thanks to planned coal powerplant closures. Next year, Luminant will shutter three coal-fired plants—Monticello, Sandow, and Big Brown—and San Antonio’s CPS Energy will close J.T. Deely Station. Wind capacity in the state will reach 24,400 megawatts by the end of 2018, according to projections from Joshua Rhodes, a research fellow at UT Austin’s Energy Institute.
But capacity is one thing, electricity generation is another. In the first ten months of 2017, wind generated 17.2 percent of power in the state, and coal 31.9 percent, according to ERCOT. But wind should soon see large gains there. “By our analysis, in 2019 we’ll have more energy from wind than coal,” Rhodes said.
The next hurdle for wind is improvements in batteries. “Without good storage, there is a limit to how much energy you can get from renewables,” Rhodes said. But impressive strides are being made, Rhodes added, pointing to a 100-megawatt lithium-ion battery that Tesla just switched on in the state of South Australia Friday. (The football-field-sized battery is the largest in the world. Tesla’s Elon Musk promised to deliver the finished $50 million battery within one hundred days of signing the contract, or it would be free. The company took only sixty days to complete the task.) Maybe some enterprising Texas mayor can give Musk a call next.
The Fluvanna Wind farm is located across the highway from Amazon Wind Farm Texas that came online in late October. That farm—built, owned, and operated by Lincoln Clean Energy—is the largest of Amazon’s eighteen existing wind and solar projects. Amazon has signed an agreement to buy 90 percent of the farm’s output to power its cloud data centers.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos marked the opening of his company’s farm in October by making his way to the top of one three-hundred-foot turbine, where he smashed a bottle of champagne beneath his feet. And, naturally, promptly posted the video footage to Twitter.
Meanwhile, in China:Tesla’s giant battery in Australia reduced grid service cost by 90%
- May. 11th 2018 7:45 am ET
Tesla’s giant Powerpack battery in Australia has been in operation for about 6 months now and we are just starting to discover the magnitude of its impact on the local energy market.
A new report now shows that it reduced the cost of the grid service that it performs by 90% and it has already taken a majority share of the market.
When an issue happens or maintenance is required on the power grid in Australia, the Energy Market Operator calls for FCAS (frequency control and ancillary services) which consists of large and costly gas generators and steam turbines kicking in to compensate for the loss of power.
Electricity rates can be seen reaching $14,000 per MW during those FCAS periods.
Tesla’s 100MW/129MWh Powerpack project in South Australia can provide the same service cheaper, quicker, and with zero-emissions, through its battery system.
It is so efficient that it reportedly should have made around $1 million in just a few days in January, but Tesla complained last month that they are not being paid correctly because the system doesn’t account for how fast Tesla’s Powerpacks start discharging their power into the grid.
The system is basically a victim of its own efficiency, which the Australian Energy Market Operator confirmed is much more rapid, accurate and valuable than a conventional steam turbine in a report published last month.
Now McKinsey and Co partner Godart van Gendt presented new data at the Australian Energy Week conference in Melbourne this week and claimed that Tesla’s battery has now taken over 55% of the FCAS services and reduced cost by 90%.
van Gendt said (via Reneweconomy):
“In the first four months of operations of the Hornsdale Power Reserve (the official name of the Tesla big battery, owned and operated by Neoen), the frequency ancillary services prices went down by 90 per cent, so that’s 9-0 per cent. And the 100MW battery has achieved over 55 per cent of the FCAS revenues in South Australia. So it’s 2 per cent of the capacity in South Australia achieving 55 per cent of the revenues in South Australia.”
South Australia is reportedly the only state that has seen a decline in FCAS costs over the period. Some estimates put the savings at over $30 million in just a few months.
Tesla Energy’s regional manager of business development Lara Olsen was also at the conference and she explained that thermal plants are bidding on FCAS based on their fuel costs, which are volatile, while Tesla is charging its batteries from wind power at a stable and cheap price.
The success of the project in Australia has led to a lot more demand for Tesla’s stationary energy storage products.
We recently reported that Tesla’s Powerpack was chosen again to deploy another large energy storage project in Australia after securing $25 million in funding.
Tesla also now has its own plans for a 50,000-home virtual power plant with Powerwalls in Australia, which would represent even more energy storage capacity.
During Tesla’s Q1 2018 earnings call last week, CEO Elon Musk even hinted at a possible 1 GWh project to be announced soon.
Someone should warn Trump about the Chinese tree planting menace, and see if he takes the bait to 'close the dangerous oxygen production gap'.China reassigns 60,000 soldiers to plant trees in bid to fight pollution
Area to be planted by the end of the year is roughly the size of Ireland
Tuesday 13 February 2018 23:26
A large regiment of the People's Liberation Army, along with some of the nation's armed police force, have been withdrawn from their posts to work non-military tasks, such as planting trees
A large regiment of the People's Liberation Army, along with some of the nation's armed police force, have been withdrawn from their posts to work non-military tasks, such as planting trees ( China Photos/Getty Images )
China has reportedly reassigned over 60,000 soldiers to plant trees in a bid to combat pollution by increasing the country's forest coverage.
A large regiment from the People's Liberation Army, along with some of the nation's armed police force, have been withdrawn from their posts on the northern border to work on non-military tasks inland.
The majority will be dispatched to Hebei province, which encircles Beijing, according to the Asia Times which originally reported the story. The area is known to be a major culprit for producing the notorious smog which blankets the capital city.
The idea is believed to be popular among members of online military forums as long as they can keep their ranks and entitlements.
It comes as part of China's plan to plant at least 84,000 square kilometres (32,400 square miles) of trees by the end of the year, which is roughly equivalent to the size of Ireland.
The aim is to increase the country's forest coverage from 21 per cent of its total landmass to 23 per cent by 2020, the China Daily newspaper reported.
"Companies, organisations and talent that specialise in greening work are all welcome to join in the country's massive greening campaign," he said.
"Cooperation between government and social capital will be put on the priority list.”
So, if you spot, or want to discuss, good things happening with the environment, please post them here.