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Old 06-04-14, 06:12 PM   #41
Spinnerman
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Default $50 vs. $300 per MWh

Certainly hydropower demand and price plays a role. Market price for electricity may be $50 per MWh on your average day. However, in summer afternoons, it can be $300/MWh. Thus, it makes economical sense to generate 127 MW (Buford Dam) in summer between hours 4 and 8 pm. 127 MW is a small capacity when the whole state is considered. However, 1 MW can power +100 homes during peak use. My household uses ~8 kW (0.008 MW) during peak times. Thus, 127 MW is not a small capacity either.

Power demand is not as great during the weekends, because many offices are closed. This is a win-win situation for COE and people who work Mon-Fri.
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Old 06-04-14, 07:18 PM   #42
mbible
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinnerman View Post
Certainly hydropower demand and price plays a role. Market price for electricity may be $50 per MWh on your average day. However, in summer afternoons, it can be $300/MWh. Thus, it makes economical sense to generate 127 MW (Buford Dam) in summer between hours 4 and 8 pm. 127 MW is a small capacity when the whole state is considered. However, 1 MW can power +100 homes during peak use. My household uses ~8 kW (0.008 MW) during peak times. Thus, 127 MW is not a small capacity either.

Power demand is not as great during the weekends, because many offices are closed. This is a win-win situation for COE and people who work Mon-Fri.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinnerman View Post
Certainly hydropower demand and price plays a role. Market price for electricity may be $50 per MWh on your average day. However, in summer afternoons, it can be $300/MWh. Thus, it makes economical sense to generate 127 MW (Buford Dam) in summer between hours 4 and 8 pm. 127 MW is a small capacity when the whole state is considered. However, 1 MW can power +100 homes during peak use. My household uses ~8 kW (0.008 MW) during peak times. Thus, 127 MW is not a small capacity either.

Power demand is not as great during the weekends, because many offices are closed. This is a win-win situation for COE and people who work Mon-Fri.
Not sure I follow your comment but I'd like to understand it better. You seem to be talking about market prices of electricity where I was citing the cost of generating electricity.


No such thing as hydro demand - only electricity demand.

From utility perspective, two factors drive grid management - how much does a generation asset cost to run and how much can it generate. The difference in the cost of operating hydro vs nat gas does not change with the weather.

From a consumer standpoint we buy the amount of electricity we need at a regulated price which is the same regardless of how it was generated (in Ga at least).

Agree with you that the price Duke energy would charge Ga power for energy that Duke generated rises with higher demand and hotter weather. That does happen on hot days and the grid operator at Ga power has to decide 'should I buy 200mw from duke to meet rising demand, or fire up another unit at Plant Bowen'. Hydro never really enters that calculus because it's just not big enough to move the needle.

I think most of that lines up with what zach said and what I think you were saying. I'm just being parsnickety about the notion that hydro plants are used a peakers because that notion leads to all sorts of false claims about the capabilities of alternative energy. I love alternative energy and it has a place in the current stack and more so in the future. But All the hydro, wind and solar in the southeast could not satisfy load requirements at ga power on a single summer day.- even if it were possible to run it all at I've- which it is not.

Said more directly- hydro is a field mule and peaker plants are race horses. You don't call the mule when you need to run the derby (ie meet peak demand). Likewise you don't send your race horse out to plod along plowing the field day after day.

Yes hydro plants are running on hot days- but that correlation does not mean that they were turned on because it got hot. If you want to know if the dam will release ya gotta check the schedule- can't infer anything from the anecdotes about hydro being run during peak demand.

I'll shut up now- feels like I'm belaboring a point on industry jargon that doesn't benefit people all that much unless they have a lot of industry experience.
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Old 06-04-14, 08:57 PM   #43
Spinnerman
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Default Power... more power...

In my previous post "Hydropower demand" stands for "electricity demand". In case all other sources are running already, then the electricity demand equals to hydropower demand.

Running hydropower is very cheap (free "fuel"), but the cost of making all the infrastructure is (was) expensive. Thus, the total lifecycle cost is not that cheap.

Seems that we are in general agreement - with one exception: Hydropower is very fast for load responses. The challenge in case of 'Hooch, one cannot just start generating when people are boating and fishing downstream.

And I also agree: This is not what the NGTO.org is for. Interesting for a few people, but not for the general audience.

Cheers!
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Old 06-08-14, 02:47 PM   #44
Windknot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbible View Post
No such thing as hydro demand - only electricity demand.
Actually, this statement made me remember that ACE administers the Hooch from Buford Dam to Apalachicola Bay, FL. Status of all downstream lakes is part of Buford Dam's concerns regarding water release time and duration. And I'm sure they account for power sales when they release water, even if power isn't the most important factor in that release.

Morgan Falls (GA Power facility) has an incredibly complex formula for releases, since they have so little water storage capability. They are impacted by:
-ACE needs up/downstream
-Buford release schedule
-Feeder creek status below Buford
-Rain events anywhere in the watershed
-and 35 other things I can't remember!
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