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Extreme weather events offer an opportunity to take stock of our power system—how well will it withstand days of prolonged stress? Earlier this year, the eastern half of the U.S. faced one of these trials, as the “Bomb Cyclone” blasted the region with frigid air for a number of days.

The result: no major power plant outages, and a power system that held strong in the face of challenging weather conditions. And wind power made an important contribution to a resilient energy mix, helping to keep the lights on for American families and businesses.

As was the case during the 2014 Polar Vortex event and the Texas 2011 cold snap, wind output was well above average when the power system needed it most. Across the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast throughout the Bomb Cyclone event, wind production surpassed both average winter and average annual output.

Let’s first look at PJM, the grid operator serving 13 states and Washington DC. From January 3 through 7, wind output in PJM was 55 percent higher than average wind output in 2017. During the highest demand periods on January 3-5, wind output was consistently three to five times greater than the level PJM plans for and compensates wind for in its capacity market. Wind’s capacity factor exceeded 50 percent multiple times during the three-day period.

In New England, wind output was also well above average throughout most of the event, and more than twice its normal level during some of the most challenging periods on January 5 and 6, as shown below. Wind output surpassed the region’s coal generation on those days.

Grid operator studies show values of renewables for resilience

In January, the New England grid operator released a report examining resilience to extreme winter weather under a range of different electric generation mixes for the mid-2020s. While initial reporting focused on scenarios that did not perform as well, a number of scenarios with higher shares of renewable generation proved to be more reliable and resilient than the current power system. In fact, three of the four of the most reliable portfolios were high renewable scenarios.

PJM’s 2017 resilience analysis also found that scenarios with very high levels of renewables were among the most resilient. PJM’s study discussed a range of other events that can cause outages at conventional power plants as well, like flooding, drought, high temperatures, and coal barge and rail congestion. Renewable resources like wind and solar PV are generally resilient to such disruptions because they are not dependent on deliveries of fuel or cooling water.

Previous studies have found that more than 96 percent of customer electric outage hours happen because of severe weather, rather than disruptions of electricity generation. High winds, falling trees and other factors knock out power lines, causing lost power. Such was the case in Puerto Rico, where the island is still recovering. The main issue wasn’t damage to its power plants, but rather the complete decimation of its transmission system. That demonstrates that building a resilient electric grid requires a diverse generation mix, as well as transmission and infrastructure upgrades.

Further analysis of the “Bomb Cyclone” can be found here.

March 27, 2018

YOUR PROFILE

You are recognized for your autonomy, independence, and your strong sense of organization. Others say about you that you are an excellent communicator and a details-oriented person.  You have the desire to work in a company strong with its human values and its role as a pioneer in the field of renewable energies.

YOUR CHALLENGE

Reporting to the Director, Project Development, the candidate will support our project development in Alberta, by managing early stages renewable energy projects from concept level until ready for construction. The candidate’s responsibilities will include:

  • Work and coordinate projects with a remote and diverse internal team based in BC, Ontario and Quebec.
  • Manage the various stages of project development (including budget, studies, approvals, etc.);
  • Analyze requests for proposals and coordinate the preparation of submissions;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with landowners and other stakeholders;
  • Ensure liaison with government on relevant issues;
  • Coordinate the review of resource prospecting and analysis;
  • Coordinate the interconnection and regulatory/permitting approval processes;
  • Work with diverse regulatory bodies and stakeholders;
  • Coordinate due diligence;

* The position will be located in Calgary and requires frequent travels to Vancouver. The candidate must be available and willing to travel to many sites. If requested, the candidate could also be based in Vancouver and travel to Calgary frequently. *

YOUR QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering and/or MBA (asset);
  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience, preferably in resource development;
  • Significant project management experience (or training);
  • Good communication and collaboration skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills and autonomy;
  • Bilingualism (French and English) is considered asset.

OUR OFFER

  • A growing company in the renewable energy sector;
  • A retirement plan with employer contributions;
  • A flexible benefit insurance plan (life, medical, dental).

Please send your resume before April 9th, 2018 at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And if you would like to know more, visit us online on the Web, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Recharge News

While largely successful to date, Mexico’s clean-energy auctions need a pre-qualification system to weed out speculative bidders, says GWEC secretary-general Steve Sawyer

Mexico should move to discourage speculators in its clean-energy auctions by embracing a pre-qualification system similar to those in place in Brazil and South Africa, says Steve Sawyer, secretary-general at the Global Wind Energy Council.

Mexico’s first three clean-energy auctions, held between March 2016 and November 2017, have been hailed as a landmark in the global renewables market, with average prices falling from $47.78/MWh in the first auction to a stunning $20.57/MWh in the most recent, including a record-low wind bid.

If all the contracted plants from the first three auctions were to get built, the country would add 7.5GW of new solar and wind over the next few years – a huge jump on its current base of around 5GW.

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Energias Renovables

EurObserv’ER, el Observatorio Europeo de las Energías Renovables, ha hecho balance de 2017, el año en el que el parque eólico global superó el medio millón de megavatios de potencia. Según este organismo, dependiente de la Comisión Europea, a día de hoy el mundo tiene ya instalados 539.256 megas eólicos (539,2 gigas, GW). Eso sí, el Observatorio de la UE matiza: aunque el crecimiento sigue siendo formidable, lo cierto es que el de 2017 se ha desacelerado por segundo año consecutivo (55,5 GW en 2016 y 64 en 2015, que fue el año top). ¿Motivo de la desaceleración? La relativa contracción del mercado eólico chino, según EurObserv’ER.