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Natural Complements
How Shale Gas Is Helping Renewables
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  • CaliforniaStark

    Why not just run the natural gas plant full time 24-7, rather than build an expensive battery plant? The battery plant only stores 300 MG of electricity; while the natural gas plant produces 1,4040 MG. The amount of fuel spent on a natural gas turbine in standby mode is not large enough to justify the enormous cost of the battery plant. The actual reason the battery plant was built is California mandates that a certain amount of energy storage be put provided by energy companies, who pass the added cost to the ratepayers. It is also is way to claim a new natural gas plant is providing new “green” energy — in response to the usual environment opposition. The whole energy complex appears to cost about 1.3 billion; assume the battery plant’s cost represented a large chunk of this. This is an example of why California energy prices are the highest in the nation.

    • Andrew Allison

      Are you seriously suggesting that any sort of cost/benefit analysis should be applied to the great renewable Unicorn hunt? Or that coherent policy can be expected from the lunatics running the California asylum in which we are inmates?

      • CaliforniaStark

        Your right, I must have temporarily lost my mind. That can be beneficial in California.

    • markterribile

      For the benefit of this ignoramus, please explain ‘MG’. Is this a unit of power or energy?

      • CaliforniaStark

        Your not an ignoramus, was a typo – meant MW. Thanks for catching it.

        • markterribile

          So the question is whether the 300 MW battery plant can cover the load while the turbines’ rpms and temperature ramp up? And whether the batteries can recharge quickly enough to be ready next time.

          • CaliforniaStark

            Am just as puzzled.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I don’t know the details of the plan, but I wonder if some of this wasn’t all about dealing with spikes in load.

  • markterribile

    Even NG plants have a problem when designed for peaking: they can’t support combined cycle, which captures heat that the turbines didn’t use and uses it to generate steam.

    • CaliforniaStark

      The claim is that both proposed natural gas turbines on the site are combined cycle; it is hard to tell what is exactly happening since there is a lot of contradictory information. The main reason the original natural gas plant was replaced appears to be a mandate to stop using ocean water for cooling, and replace it with air cooling. The battery plant seemed to be added to the project later.

      • markterribile

        The gas turbine can provide power after a short spin up but the steam plant will need time to ramp up. And is there one steam plant per has turbine, or do several turbines share a steam plant?

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