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Sun Sep 1, 2019, 03:37 PM

Interesting Data On Hourly Solar Energy Production On the ISO New England Grid, 2018. [View all]

The data in this post will come from a spreadsheet down loaded from the ISO New England Operations web page, ISO New England being the name of the electrical grid that powers the New England states, including Vermont. The spreadsheet can be found here:New England Iso Operations Reports

The data to which I will refer for the title data is the 2018 hourly solar data spreadsheet, which is current up to the end of June of this year. I have been also working with other spreadsheets from the ISO website, and will produce data from them here without direct reference to particular sheets.

I have chosen the full year, 2018, in this post in contrast to the post I will link below, which featured YTD data in the current data, since the insolation of a region varies over a full year, and as were are on the high side

This is a follow on to the post I produced yesterday on another popular, if delusional, "renewable energy will save us" scheme that, as wishful thinking that is soaking up huge amounts of resources for no result with respect to climate change, is helping climate change become worse, not better.

That post is here:
Interesting Data On Hourly Wind Energy Production On the ISO New England Grid, 2019.

And let's be clear on something, the situation with respect to climate change is deteriorating rapidly, no matter how many happy face posts one reads here in the E&E forum or elsewhere about how great so called "renewable energy" is doing, usually expressed in idiotic "percent talk."

The weekly year to year comparison data at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory posted this morning is this:

Week beginning on August 25, 2019: 409.46 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 406.48 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 385.78 ppm
Last updated: September 1, 2019


Up-to-date weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa

Here's some "percent talk" to chew on:

The increase over the same week of 2018 is 2.98 ppm, quite nearly 3. There are 2,274 such weekly data points posted on the Mauna Loa website, going back to May 25, 1975. More than half, 1,248 of them were recorded before Jan 2, 2000. Of these, 49 exceeded 3.00 ppm, or in "percent talk," 3.82% of them.

Since Jan 2, 2000, 1,022 such data points have been recorded. Of these, 130 have exceeded 3.00 ppm, or in "percent talk" 12.7% of them.

We are now experiencing 2019. In 2019 there have been 34 such measurements. Of these, 18 have exceeded 3.00 ppm, or in "percent talk" 54.55% of them.

Are we tired of all this winning yet?


The political subtext in contrast to the technical realities I expressed in that linked post about wind power in New England in 2019 was this:

Recently, in one of the political threads here, I argued that the climate policies of Bernie Sanders, as enacted where he lives, in Vermont, helped to make climate change worse, not better.

Many of my fellow Democrats agree with these policies which is unfortunate; the goal of controlling the government should not be merely to win elections and hold power, but rather to govern well, to make our country safe, and sustainable for future generations.

We must not miss this; it is our responsibility as human beings, at least if we embrace "the better angels of our natures," to do something other than posturing and embracing wishful thinking, these being the same as doing nothing.

My claim had to do with his cheering for the closure of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, which shut in 2014 after 42 years of operation without a single loss of life. Vermont Yankee was a small nuclear plant, with a rated power of 620 MWe, but despite being small, it was able to produce around 70% of all the electricity consumed in the State of Vermont in a single building in a typical year. The environmental attractiveness of this should be obvious, but isn't, because ignorant rhetoric easily trumps reality in the times in which we live, a regrettable fact. We are all, as a species, dumbing down in times we desperately need to smarten up.


Calculating, using Excel functions, from the 2018 hourly solar data spreadsheet, I report the following:

A year contains 8760 hours. Of these, solar power output in the entire New England region exceeded the output of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, again 620 MW, for 596 hours among them, or in "percent talk" for 6.80%. The highest single hour recorded for all the solar facilities in New England was recorded on April 22, 2018, when the power for the hour ending a 1 pm, unsurprisingly the noon hour, was 855.054 MW.

It is widely reported that the sun disappears from the sky during each 24 hour period; the technical term for this occurrence is "nighttime." Thus it should be unsurprising that for 3,724 hours all the solar facilities in New England produced zero MW of power or in "percent talk," 42.5% of all hours occurring in 2018.

More telling is the fact that 4,680 hours all the solar facilities in New England produced less than 10 MW of power, or in "percent talk," 53.4% of the time. For 5,783 hours, all of the solar facilities in New England produced less than 100 MW of power, or in "percent talk" 66.0% of all the hours in 2018.

In terms of average continuous power measured over a 24 hour period, all of the solar facilities in New England produced more than 200 MW of power for the day as a whole. Interestingly, of the top 4 such days, three occurred in April of 2018, April 22, 2018 when the average continuous power was 294.1 MW, April 21, 2018 when the average continuous power was 289.1 MW, and April 23, 2018, when the average continuous power was 282.2 MW. This may be a function of how the solar cells are oriented. Two of the top ten occurred in June of 2018, three in July and two in May.

For 103 of 365 days in 2018, the average continuous power of all the solar facilities in New England produced more than 200 MW of average continuous power, in percent talk, 28.2% of the days, meaning that for 71.8% of the days, they, um, didn't.

So called "renewable energy" in New England doesn't cut it. The largest source of electricity in New England is dangerous natural gas, the waste of which is dumped directly into the planetary atmosphere, destroying it. It has done nothing to address climate change, is doing nothing to address climate change and won't do anything to address climate change. In this, New England follows the world.

This weekend the Southern United States will be, regrettably, slammed by a major hurricane. There will be, as usual, all kinds of stuttering nonsense relating to misinterpretation of Bayesian mathematics about whether the hurricane was the result of deliberate lying about climate change, denial on the right, wishful thinking on the left.

Intuitively, anyone with an ounce of sense and honesty knows that worldwide the weather is rapidly deteriorating, whether from deadly killing heat waves or severe storms.

This hurricane now coming will rip solar cells all over the regions which it strikes off their moorings, instantaneously converting them to electronic waste. So much for saving anything.

I personally observed this sort of thing on my own block in New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

What people will talk about, and care about, is Florida's nuclear plants, although arguably, I think, if Florida had more nuclear plants and had them for a longer time, this hurricane, were it to occur at all, would not be this powerful.

This will mimic the situation at Fukushima, where a great hue and cry was raised about the possibility that someone might die of radiation while the tens of thousands of people killed by seawater didn't matter to the general public a whit.

Whether this is true or not, the fact is that we are not doing anything meaningful to address climate change remains.

I wish you a happy holiday weekend, and where relevant, where happiness regrettably cannot be an issue, a safe holiday weekend.





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