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Tesla Powerwalls hooked up to provide grid frequency balancing in Vermont utility pilot

Frank McCamant's picture
Principal McCamant Consulting LLC

McCamant Consulting, owned by Frank McCamant, is a business and strategy development partner for organizations involved in energy resource management and smart grid development. Based in Austin...

  • Member since 2021
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  • May 18, 2021
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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 18, 2021

Frank, 100% of Vermont's grid reliability problems can be blamed on wind turbines, which wreak havoc on frequency and voltage stability.

Such problems were non-existent before the premature retirement of Vermont Yankee (Nuclear) Power Plant in 2013. VY's massive turbines kept both grid voltage and frequency solid as a rock, thanks to a phenomenon known as grid inertia:

"A power network without inertia is one that is unstable, suffers from issues of power quality and is susceptible to blackouts. The primary mechanism for providing inertia is via the presence of heavy rotating equipment such as [nuclear-powered] steam turbines and gas turbines driving generators and rotating generators.

Donald Chamberlin, a retired electrical engineer who worked for a utility in New England for 42 years, explained some of the drawbacks in how the grid is evolving. If power is mainly coming from solar panels and wind farms, and local generating facilities are taken off line, it certainly lowers emissions. But it also removes the necessary sources of reactive power.

“Without enough reactive power, transmission capacity is reduced, voltage drops, power lines overheat, and blackouts can occur,” said Chamberlin."

 

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on May 19, 2021

Frank, thanks for a inciteful article. The Power Wall is helping utilities and the GRID  no matter what their problems have been. They have spurred other companies to also come out with battery storage. It will change the entire GRID as we know it. 

    Have you seen any problems with batteries in the GRID?  If so do you know what brands they were? We had a under street fire at a battery site  in Phoenix but few detail got released. 

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