1. Every time the media reports on the alleged successes of new wind/solar projects, they count the number of “homes” that will be powered. While not even that is true (intermittency), they never mention factories and businesses.

  2. I am glad you mentioned that the loss of VY will have impacts outside Vermont proper. Here in Quebec we where all told to reduce our electric consumption during the recent cold snap that gripped the North East. We were told that Hydro Quebec’s generating capacity had just about maxed out, and the utility might be forced to resort to rolling twenty minute blackouts if things did not improve. Now in the Provence we have enough hydro to power ourselves many times over, and the bulk of our electricity is exported south, thus we were being asked to limit demand to help service to these markets, Vermont being one of them.
    So yes the loss of a major generator in Vermont will have impacts that will effect me personally

    1. DV8XL. I was watching the energy spot market that day. New York ISO, according to Platts, went above $1000 MWh. I didn’t catch it doing that. I did see Vermont and NH and so forth at $200 MWh. VY currently sells at $44 MWh and the grid usually runs at $40 to $80. Interesting that you were told to cut back!

  3. Let’s see, If IBM is paying 35 million a year at 80/MWH, they need 437,500 MWHs of electricity. Assuming a level usuage 24/7 (a false assumption but should give an estimate of the capacity needed), gives us about a 50MW capacity need. With various peaks you would need an 80MW plant feeding IBM just to meet its needs with a small reserve capacity.
    So, there are a few ways to look at this.
    Loosing IBM would mean that the rest of the grid could balance more easily. With the other companies affected closing as well perhaps as much as 100 MW could be taken off the grid, this is true negawatts. (he said with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek). Amory Lovins pay attention! This is how you need to promote Negawatts!
    Another, We would only need 400 to 500 windmills to supply this much power, but we would need some massive UPS’s to backup the slack wind times. (again a bit of sarcasm).
    You could have a very large Biomass plant or two feeding IBM. This would make IBM very green (or brown depending on the fuel…).
    You could plan to keep Vermont Yankee online until B&W finish the MPower and replace VY with “new” nuclear.
    The bottom line here is the difference between a fully amortized capital asset and any ANY type of new generation which would take 10 to 20 years to pay off the loans thus needing to sell their electricity at at least 100/MWH. In running the numbers for a biomass plant in the Midwest we determined that we needed at least 100/mwh to pay off the loan because the loan amortization by itself was 1/2 of our operations costs.
    So, will their power bill go up by 20 to 25% if VY goes off line? You betcha. Pretty simple math, even I can do that one.

    1. @ EL,
      Thanks for the link. The main and glaring oversight in the reporting is the actual potential danger from a tritium leak. Which is basically nothing. They are able to detect these leaks because you can detect a single atom decaying. But, and this is a big BUT, the dangers are so minor than you face a much greater risk walking down the side walk and bumping your toe. The amount of injury bumping your toe would likely be far far greater than if you drank all the water containing the tritium.
      The main problem with tritium would be if you managed to breath some in so that the radiation stayed in one location (your lungs) for an extended period unable to be removed by the body. There might be a possibility of some damage then. However, if you drink the stuff, you body would naturally process it with the water you have and remove it after a fairly short period before it could do much damage. Again, when I say damage here, you are looking at picroscopic amounts. (Stubbing your big toe would damage millions more cells).
      So, the reporter, by NOT mentioning the actual effects of the tritium release, and by accepting the statement that perhaps the non-functioning machine should have been reported to the health department, was greatly exaggerating the dangers. To put it bluntly – he lied through omission. Great for selling news terrible for making sound decisions about which dangers need to be paid attention to.

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