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A man walks his dog next to the damaged San Onofre power plant located next to San Onofre State Park in California, November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake
San Onofre power plant
A couple of years ago, Southern California Edison had Mitsubishi build and install new generators for its San Onofre nuclear power plant. The two companies worked together both on the design and implementation of the project, yet two years later, the generators failed and the whole plant had to be shuttered. Thus, the $680 million Edison paid for those generators ended up being almost entirely wasted. Take a moment to weep for Edison's management and investors.

Or don't, because Edison doesn't think it or its investors should have to suffer the indignity of losing out on a bet.

Edison is asking the [California Public Utilities Commission] to allow it to recover about $2 billion for its capital expenditures alone through 2017, including a return on its capital investment of more than 5.5%. The PUC would have to decide how to apportion that sum between ratepayers and shareholders.
Got it? Edison wants ratepayers to pay for cost of the f'd up generators, the cost of building the plant itself, and, for good measure, a five percent profit to top it all off. And why would the utility ask for something this crazy?
[I]t's leaving little doubt that, regardless of what it's able to recover [from lawsuits against Mitsubishi], it wants its shareholders and its Wall Street investors to be "made whole" financially.
Pretty sweet, huh? You screw the pooch, but rather than holding company executives accountable by firing them, or at least taking away their corporate jet for a weekend, they instead demand that government bail them out. Too rich to fail, apparently.

To the state's credit, California appears unwilling to bail them out. But it takes a special kind of moxie to demand not just ratepayer restitution for your boondoggle, but a profit from your incompetence.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kosowatt.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That's a company Rick Perry can have (32+ / 0-)

    move to Texas. Take all the Walmarts with him too while he's at it.

    "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

    by Jason Hackman on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:35:04 PM PDT

  •  To be fair, they probably think they deserve it. (11+ / 0-)

    One mustn't treat the ethically deprived with too much shame.  They might actually learn something.

    And since 2008, we haven't exactly been consistent in laying blame, have we?

    (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:35:35 PM PDT

  •  They have also been charging customers the extra (19+ / 0-)

    fee to cover the nuclear power, for all this time, in spite of the fact that they haven't been generating nuclear power for going on two years.  And, when it looked like they were going to have to stop charging the fee, they asked for approval to run the plant at 70%, since it was unsafe at 100%, and therefore continue to collect the fee.

    Those aren't domes, sitting there on that beach....

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    by Bisbonian on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:37:12 PM PDT

    •  Boobs, run by boobs /nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, Dave925
    •  This sounds so familiar (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not, Dave925

      I used to live in Kansas, in the part of the state "serviced" by KGE.  We paid higher rates because of the nuclear plant.  This was a 1990s thing, before KGE bought out the other main power company in Kansas, KPL, and became Westar.  A few years ago, Westar got the KCC to raise the rates of former KPL customers to match those of KGE customers.  All of this because of the Wolf Creek nuclear plant.

      So I'm not surprised at this stunt by California Edison.

      For no apparent reason, this has caused me to think about the little municipal power station owned by my home town, Greensburg, Kansas.  In the years before the destruction of the city by the tornado in 2007, they still kept it running.

      My memories of my childhood in Greensburg, of the spirit of community that made life more economical and more enjoyable for the people of Greensburg and Kiowa County, are partly why I am a socialist.  Weird, huh?

      Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

      by rbird on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:06:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's Called "Risk" Assholes. nt (18+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:37:28 PM PDT

  •  Isn't Socal Edison regulated? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mystique mist, KJG52, Churchill, Aunt Pat

    Didn't the government have to sign off on the purchase of the generators?

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:37:50 PM PDT

  •  Remember all the crap about the "Moral Hazard"... (14+ / 0-)

    ... of bailouts?

    Those were the days.

  •  It's amazing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, Aunt Pat, rbird

    that we even write about this stuff !

    1984 !

  •  Interesting. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:40:26 PM PDT

  •  What does WPPSS spell - 'whoops' (10+ / 0-)
    In January 1982, the WPPSS board stopped construction on Plants 4 and 5 when total cost for all the plants was projected to exceed $24 billion. Because these plants generated no power and brought in no money, the system was forced to default on $2.25 billion in bonds
    .

    The towers of the reactor remain like the pyramids of yesteryear. Satsop, Washington.

  •  Recently retired utility executive here. (Really!) (19+ / 0-)

    OK it's a co-op, an itsy bitsy utility.

    But still, I say f*ck 'em. In regulatory terms, the investment was "imprudent" and should not be recovered in rates.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:41:36 PM PDT

    •  interesting. (0+ / 0-)

      replacing the steam generators seemed produnt
      would the upgrade part be imprudent?

      what types of invesment are considered imprudent?

      •  Closing this almost 50 year boondoggle (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blukat, Simplify, S F Hippie

        Would have been the prudent thing to do.

        It's been nothing but a money pit since Unit 1 went on line in '68. Having grown up and still living less than 10 miles from these reactors, I've seen and heard Edison's bogus PR for a long time. And never, not once, had "stop the bleeding" been mentioned let alone considered.

        All I know for sure is we've been lucky as hell not to have suffered any serious malfunctions- that is, that we know of.

        "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

        by Dave925 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:56:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Investment in a facility that doesn't work. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S F Hippie

        "So, am I right or what?"

        by itzik shpitzik on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:58:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Waiting for them to say (6+ / 0-)

    "Well in Japan the government bails out their energy companies..."

    Like that has worked out well.

  •  I guess in light of what happened on Wall STreet (9+ / 0-)

    they figure it was worth a shot. Had that happened in Texas, they likely would have gotten their way.

    Jesus. H. Christ.

    The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

    by bastrop on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:42:54 PM PDT

  •  the sad fact is that several states already have (17+ / 0-)

    this sweetheart deal enshrined into law.  It's called "nuclear cost recovery"---it allows electric companies in those states to not only charge customers for the costs of a nuclear power plant before it's built, and guarantees that they don't have to give any of the money back if, for whatever reason, the plant NEVER gets built, but it also adds in a "guaranteed rate of return" for the "investment".

    Florida and North Carolina, who both have this policy---are already paying for nukes that their respective electric companies either broke and couldn't afford to fix, or never built at all.

    It's just another reason why "new nukes" are just an expensive pipe dream. Nukes are dead, dead, dead. The industry wouldn't survive at all if it weren't for all the welfare they get.

  •  make SoCal Edison a public utility: Break'em up! (12+ / 0-)
    SCE is one of the largest land owners in California

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:44:11 PM PDT

    •  Chinatown (1974) (5+ / 0-)
      Noah Cross: Either you bring the water to L.A. or you bring L.A. to the water
      The origins of the company lie with the grand scheme of magnate Henry E. Huntington and hydraulic engineer John S. Eastwood, developed around 1908, for a vast complex of reservoirs to be constructed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California. Huntington founded Pacific Light and Power, one of the roughly two dozen companies he controlled at the time, to execute what would eventually become one of the largest hydropower systems in the United States, the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project. Pacific Light and Power was one of the predecessor companies to SCE, along with Edison Electric, Mt. Whitney Power & Electric Co., California Electric Power Co., and others

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

      by annieli on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:49:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chinatown is about the Owens Valley (0+ / 0-)

        and LADWP.  Other side of the Sierras.  Big Creek water flows back into the San Joaquin river (its original course) after generating electricity (over 1000MW).

        Of course below that point there are irrigation diversions (by state, federal and irrigation district projects) which provide much of the water for the San Joaquin Valley.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:47:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is the nude beach still there at San Onofre? (5+ / 0-)

    Believe it or not it was a good one in the 90s.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:47:02 PM PDT

  •  "Moxie" is not the word I'd use. (10+ / 0-)

    "Chutzpah" is. How on earth does this wretched example of a CEO think that he'll get that bailout? By threatening to take his (and the company's) bat and his ball and go home?

    If he does that, Governor Brown should call his bluff. Tell him "Don't let the door hit ya' where the Good Lord split ya'!" and then actually do something sane about the electricity generation system.

    Like cranking way back on the profit motive. Or, at the very least, emplacing some real goddamn standards about what power companies are and aren't allowed to do.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:49:19 PM PDT

  •  They've earned their retention bonuses (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, Dave925

    Just like all the loyal party members were running around here telling us at the time of the bank bailouots.  I definitely recall being told to STFU about the bonuses.  I guess it was just more "pragmatic" than a lowdown evil purist like me will ever understand.  In fact, I'm so low on the totem pole that I have to pay my full tax assessment, I don't make enough to be properly pragmatic.

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:52:15 PM PDT

  •  They'll get their money from the public (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, mwk, Dave925, Simplify

    They don't call the PUC the Private Utilities Commission for nothing. People on the board shuttle between working for utilities and being a commissioner. It's totally corrupt.

    By the way, join The Utility Reform Network if you live in California and want to do something beyond utility futility about these parasitic companies.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:52:27 PM PDT

    •  Yes, but . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, Dave925

      The money they are requesting is from their own ratepayers, not the public at large.  And, at the same time, SCE (along with the other large electric utilities in CA) are seeking to change the way that residential rates are structure so that low-income and low-usage customers pay more, in order to reduce the rates for the customer that use the most energy.

      And second the recommendation to support TURN.

      Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. Richard Feynman

      by mwk on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:18:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  put 5 KW of solar PV on your roof (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925

      and you may bypass these guys forever

  •  SOP for American executives. (7+ / 0-)

    In the new American form of big business, executives never, ever lose. You just win.

    You could completely fuck a company totally up, Carly Fiorina style, and walk away with $100 million for your trouble.

  •  I'm just thinking that this is the start of (9+ / 0-)

    a negotiating process: Con Ed throws everything on their wish list on the table, and waits for the response from the state.  The response should be:

    We will allow you to hold onto your land while you:

    Clean it up to pristine standards, and install solar panels and wind mills with mushrooms growing beneath
    and
    All upper management must be fired, no parachutes and they can not be rehired within  the industry, ever
    and
    ratepayers must be compensated for the lack of new electrical services in the form of rolled back rates using the upper management salaries
    and  . . . . you get the drift.

    "It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man." -- Thomas Paine

    by sailmaker on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:54:47 PM PDT

    •  Con Ed is NY, this is SCE (50,000 sqmi of SoCal). (0+ / 0-)

      Most of the many utilities in the U.S. with Edison in their names have no corporate relationship.  Edison licensed his name and technology to many separate companies, a few of which grew, adapted and survived.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:02:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Steam Generator" is the correct terminology (7+ / 0-)

    The "steam generator" in a pressurized water reactor is the heat exchanger between the primary and the secondary cooling system in a pressurized water reactor.  

    The steam generator in that design is necessary to isolate the reactor water cooling circuit from the generation and system water process recycling that occurs in the secondary system from  steam condensation in the condensor below the turbine.

    The physical separation is necessary between these systems because the primary cooling water circuit in a pressurized reactor gets contaminated with a lot metals generated by the reactor fuel and their effect on the primary cooling circuit process water chemistry.

    Failure to properly address primary cooling circuit process water chemistry properly leads to corrosion of the steam generators and the need to replace this very large piece of equipment (the steam generator) which is found inside of the engineered containment vessel.   The corrosion problems may lead to the need to plug steam generator tubes to stem secondary system contamination.   But plugging steam generator tubes means reducing the thermal transfer efficiency of both the steam generator and the overall turbine generation system.

    Eventually, a very large and expensive piece of equipment which is extremely difficult to extract and to install must take place.   This is a common problem in the nuclear industry at pressurized water reactors.

    Another thing to note here in the diary is that this plant was constructed physically in a manner similar to the Fukushima plants as to the physical configuration of verticle altitude with respect to sea level.   Look at the picture.   This plant would be readily inundated from a large tsunami because is was constructed so low to the water.

    •  No Tsunami's in CA (0+ / 0-)

      We have slip faults in CA. Not subduction faults. Slip faults do not cause Tsunamis.

      "Steam Generator" = Boiler.

      •  Huh?! (4+ / 0-)

        First of all, Crescent City saw major tsunami damage in 1964 from Alaska's Good Friday earthquake - tsunamis do not have to originate nearby!

        Secondly, from Punta Gorda north the faulting is thrust, not slip! The triple junction between the Pacific, North American, and Juan de Fuca plates is just off-shore from Shelter Cove, CA.

        Third, the Northridge quake (1994) was caused by a blind thrust fault.

        Fourth...the east face of the southern Sierra is a massive thrust fault, it broke in the 1870s.

        •  Should clarify... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blukat, Janet 707

          Southern CA is typically subject to unusually high surf only from storms in the southwestern pacific (e.g.: New Zealand), on account of the sharp eastward bend in the coast just north of Santa Barbara. So...I'd be looking at the New Zealand area faults to determine potential risk...and they are subduction.

      •  big enough quake in the west pac (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blukat, Janet 707

        you will get a tsunami in california,

        effects will be a function of local shore conditions.

      •  A steam generator and a boiler both produce (0+ / 0-)

        steam, but a steam generator and a boiler are completely different processes.

        A boiler produces steam by direct heating process from a combustion fire box and from hot flue gases (the latter being called an 'economizer')

        A steam generator on the other hand does not feature direct steam production by direct heating from the heat input source.

        Instead, the steam from a steam generator is produced by exposure of water in a separate recirculating water/steam system to heating from pressurized, superheated water flowing through the steam generator.   There is no direct heating of the water on the steam side from the source of process heat input with a steam generator.

      •  Then why are there tsunami routes in many (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Janet 707

        of the coastal cities?

        California Government Tsunami Preparedness Site

        Calif. Government Tsunami Inundation Maps

        There are a lot more webpages if you need more info. There have been tsunami that hit California and there will be in the future.

        You might want to look up the Cascadia Subduction Zone also. Since it has caused tsunami in the past and is expected to in the future.

    •  There is a sea wall (0+ / 0-)

      whether it is high enough is debatable, but tsunami risk was quantified and explicitly considered in the design.  

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:05:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As an SCE ratepayer I've already paid the cost of (8+ / 0-)

    construction, maintenance and overhaul on these plants many times over since they were built in the 1960's. The income stream from this outdated and dangerous facility has been used by SCE for over fifty years, its time to retire them, they are way past their sell by date.

    The California State PUC will not bail out SCE, under any combination of Republicans or Democrats in the legislature or the governorship. I guess "them's that don't ask, don't get," is the operating principal of SCE's management; however, a rate increase or surcharge to deal with a problem SCE created is not going to happen in California.

    Any Governor that approved of such an action or Legislator that supported one, would be turfed out of office in the blink of an eye. The CPUC is a regulatory agency with an appointed board and every appointee that approved of bailing out SCE would be summarily dismissed and the regulatory act annulled by the new board within days of the enactment of such a breach of the public trust. I say again with every confidence:"This ain't happenin'."    

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:59:27 PM PDT

  •  "Moxie" was just the word I was looking for... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:23:19 PM PDT

  •  Pay us, or we'll TEPCo you miserable 'zens... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    Same thing Wall Street did:
     'Bail us out, or we'll collapse the world economy around your ears' (even worse than we already have, plebes).

    Pirates and highwaymen didn't have the casualty rates these sonsabitches do, and certainly not the absolute numbers of victims.
    No comparison whatsoever, these modern day mofo's are taking 'pillaging and plundering' to new heights (or would that be depths?).

    Y'all want to glow in the dark? Just make our day...

    We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

    by Bluefin on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:59:58 PM PDT

  •  Saaawwweeet Deal! They get 2 billion for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    a 680 million dollar screw up.

    You know, I am going to totally crash my students' State Writing Test scores for this year. With that little failure, I expect the State and Federal Govmint to triple my salary and benefits for the year. Then I will be made "whole" again, and feel good about myself, because I wont have to sell my 1969 Barth Travel Trailer partially completed.

    And I think thats fair. If Wall Street and CalUtil can do it, so can I. And civilization ratchets down another notch. Not my problem. Thats for someone else to worry about.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:04:51 PM PDT

  •  let them do that, but require they buy 100% of PV (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Dave925

    and wind energy from small producers.

    it's making more sense to let people
    just go grid neutral.

    let them put that $5 billion into the rate base for
    generation, they will be done in 2 years as
    people switch to Solar and small scale wind,

    •  They still need rotating machines for base load (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925

      And buying from many small producers could easily result in grid instability.  Maintaining a stable grid is not a simple process, and the more entities that you have feeding power into the grid, the greater the difficulty.  SCE/SDG&E  are left with the choice of building steam plants (probably gas fired), or importing base-load power, which doesn't have a guarantee of reliability of supply (I believe that they already import  peak power).  Wind generation is excellent for peak load, but unreliable for base load because, well duh, wind generation fluctuates with the wind.  Small unit wind and solar is excellent for local use but the number of separate units that can be allowed to feed their excess power back into the grid system must be limited to assure grid stability.  Small unit wind and solar have value in that they lower demand for both peak power and base load, and I say that to illustrate that I am not anti small-unit wind or anti solar, but both need to stay off the grid, for the most part.

      Fifty years ago the U.S. made the decision that nuclear power would be the future of the power industry, and we have been paying for that short-sightedness for the past 30.  It's a hell of a complicated way to boil water.

      •  your wrong, or at least logically inconsistent (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, Dave925, Lawrence
        Wind generation is excellent for peak load, but unreliable for base load because, well duh, wind generation fluctuates with the wind.
        Load is load,  yes, you have 24 hours of base load
        and 8 hours of peak load, but,  think of it mathematically.

        Suppose it's 2 in the morning,  and your stretch of grid needs
        2700 MW of power, per hour,  the math doesn't care if it's coming from an unreliable wind source or a reliable wind source, you still need 2700 MW.

        now suppose it's 2PM and you need 10,0000 MW, again,
        if you have unreliable wind or reliable coal,  the grid doesn't care it needs 10,000 MW.  

        All the math cares about is delivered energy.  A wind farm can be reliable by having matched battery storage, and a coal plant can be unreliable if it has a switchyard trip.  

        we are now generating almost 25% of the electricity in Iowa from wind and the grid is maintaining stability.

        Germany is having routine 50% renewable grid days and their grid isn't falling over.

        •  No, you are incorrect (0+ / 0-)

          1.  There is no matched battery storage.  Maybe there will be someday, but batteries are always a poor choice due to costs and maintenance issues, and batteries are not environmentally friendly, either.

          2.  You have obviously never sat in a power plant control room and watched the grid "bounce" due to wind speeds rising and falling, and watched the operaters continuously ramping units to compensate for the fluctuating winds.  A day like that drives operators and dispatchers insane, and without the base load generators the system would just not work.

          3.  Some days, the wind turbines work just fine because the wind blows steadily, not too high and not too low (wind is similar to The Three Bears).  Some days wind creates problems for operators, and those are the times that base load generators are essential.  Unfortunately, with steam plants the units must be kept operational because the fire-up time is measured in hours.  Hydro is available within seconds from a standing-start, but major wear and tear occurs on the units during the starting and stopping process so maintenance costs increase.  Essentially, the non-wind producers are subsidizing the wind producers via operational costs with no compensation and higher maintenance costs with no compensation.  There is no free lunch.

          •  now you are just wrong (0+ / 0-)
            1.  There is no matched battery storage.  Maybe there will be someday, but batteries are always a poor choice due to costs and maintenance issues, and batteries are not environmentally friendly, either.
            http://www.ge-energy.com/...

            GE’s 2.5-120 the world’s most efficient high output brilliant wind turbine. The first wind turbine to combine world-class efficiency and power output at low wind speed sites capturing a 25% increase in efficiency and 15% increase in power over GE’s 2.85-103.  This high efficiency and high output unlock higher returns for wind farm operators at low wind sites. GE’s 2.5-120 is first to utilize the Industrial Internet to help manage the variability of wind providing smooth predictable power to the world.  The 2.5-120 integrates energy storage, driving higher wind farm output, improving services productivity and creating new revenue streams for customers.

            and is a day with wind bounce any worse then a day in August when it's 105 outside the lines are all in overload
            and load is just coming out of nowhere?

            Grid management is changing, you are going to have to learn how to dispatch frequency support, reactive power support and load shedding in real time.  This isn't your daddies grid anymore.

            The plus side is that daytime stress peak is going away,
            the bad thing is night time grid management is going to
            become a bitch of a problem.

            I think integrated wind turbines will become the norm,
            and the producers care about that as much as grid managers,
            because if they don't deliver a MW-H, they pay you a pretty hefty fee, so they are underquoting to avoid that.

            I think you will see a lot of big Gas fired peakers getting converted into spinning reserve.  tap a little power have them spin cold at 4000 RPM, the second you need some real power, turn on the gas lines, and hit the igniters.  There is 250 MW of those on a hard line to the NYSE all capable of coming on line in a 1/4 second in south jersey.  

            principally, you will start using your smart meters to turn everyone into dispatched load as opposed to managing dispatched generation.

            I take it you are a grid manager?

            and last i heard, in Illinoise, they are keeping abotu 15% steam idling as warm reserve,  so for every 1,000 MW of wind, they keep 150 MW of steam turning,  to provide drop out protection, they used to think it had to be 50%, then 30%,  

            •  We're getting sidetracked here (0+ / 0-)

              And I'm partly responsible for it.  My original post was meant to introduce to the discussion the problems inherent with the attachment of multiple, independent, small power producers to the grid, and the instability that results.  Abrogation of the problems induced by these connections is an expensive proposition, and might even be insurmountable. To keep it super simple, small generators do not have the ability to maintain grid voltage and frequency.  What this actually means, is that more utilities are requiring that small units meet utility standards for control and protection.  Furthermore, some have limits for power factor and voltage to discourage connections to the grid by small producers that cannot meet those standards.

              Large wind farms create their own problems, but these can, and are being dealt with (large is better than small, in this case).

              •  small generators are grid followers (0+ / 0-)

                so what, until the small sources get to 50% they follow the grid.

                •  What is so hard to understand about this? (0+ / 0-)

                  If there are few independent generation units, solar, wind, waste gas, whatever, on the grid the problems are minimal.  If you have many, in one area, you have what is essentially a single power plant feeding a relatively high percentage of the grid capacity (say, for the sake of argument 20%).  If the wind dies or a cloud covers the sun you have a neighborhood of power producers suddenly become a neighborhood of power consumers.  Grids are built one-way--to send power from the producer to the consumer at a constant frequency and voltage!  If small producers add too much power to the grid, the voltage can rise, too little and the voltage sags.  This is compensated by the utility generators speeding up and slowing down, with the load.  The grid is not instantaneous, there is always a lag and this lag is what leads to the instability.  The generator governor sends a command to increase speed, generator speeds up and slightly overshoots, governor sends command to decrease speed, generator slows a bit, meanwhile the wind increases and the sun comes out, governor sends slow command, generator slows, overshoots.  Modern voltage regulators can fire their SCR's and help with this lag, but it still exists.  This can lead to the classic volts per hertz ratio problem and causes line trips.  This can further lead to a cascade of trips and can cause not just local, but regional blackouts.  However, in the last 15 years underfrequency load shedding has been implemented and should at least reduce the number of regional blackouts.

                  Small generators are not only grid followers.  In high enough concentrations they can actually drive the grid--to instability.  At least one study that I've seen has concluded that as little as 5% of grid energy supplied by small-unit solar can lead to instability.  Energy storage may (and I say may because it hasn't been proven) mitigate this somewhat, but we are talking gigawatts of storage which simply has not  been installed.

                  Also, be careful if you are using Germany as an example of a well-constructed wind power distribution system:

                  http://www.spiegel.de/...

          •  yet denmark and portugal (0+ / 0-)

            are big wind countries and iowa is at 25%.

            i suspect as you get more wind it averages out the
            fluctuations

  •  To be honest... (0+ / 0-)

    It doesn't really surprise me that a utility company would try to get reimbursed for their screw ups.  I don't think they should be paid by any means, but it is their goal to make as much profit as possible.  There's no reason to be surprised that they would attempt to do just that.  

    I believe it's been stated that the "personality" of corporations is one of a sociopath.  It's important to know that and keep it in mind, but there's no reason to be surprised about it.  

    Of course, highlighting egregious corporate greed like this is always worthwhile.  

  •  What is a regulated utility? (0+ / 0-)

    How are their rates (retail prices) determined?  Can folks who aren't utilities borrow money to build generation and the grid at the same bond rates?  Why?  Are utilities allowed to charge consumers whatever the market will bear for power? Why? Did power prices go up or down when generation ownership moved to merchant owners in "de-regulation." Why?

    I submit that the answers to those questions are largely missing from this discussion.  It is reasonable for a regulated utility to expect reasonable mistakes, even large ones, to be paid out of rates, just as terrific successes reduce rates rather than improving profits.

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 03:55:48 PM PST

  •  FYI, SCE has no corporate jets (0+ / 0-)

    which in my personal opinion is pretty much so they can say that when people write articles like this.

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:15:59 PM PST

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