Baseload: When Wind is the Firmest Energy Source

Climate Denial Crock of the Week


Germany’s power grid, with much greater Renewable energy penetration, is 10x as stable as the US.

Maybe they know something Rick Perry doesn’t. (doesn’t everybody?)


The peak season for electricity at the Rim Rock Wind Farm in northern Montana is in the winter, when a steady wind blows from the Rockies and gets 126 turbines spinning. Then the wind flags for a moment, and an unusual chain of events begins.

In San Francisco, at the headquarters of the wind farm’s owner, NaturEner USA, a technician in front of a giant screen observes the downtick. A computer in a locked closet sends an alert to a trader in Vancouver, British Columbia, who immediately buys a small block of electricity from a dam somewhere in Washington state, just enough to make up for the shortfall.

The data about that watery block is routed back to San Francisco, blended with the wind…

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