Push to close last Nevada coal plant centers on money
Sierra Club lawyers who've preached against the environmental evils of coal-burning power plants for decades are trying to force the closure of the last significant one in renewable energy-rich Nevada with arguments based on a different sort of green: money. "It used to be that we had to come in and say closing these plants might cost us a bit more, but it's the right thing to do because of the social and environmental impacts - kids with asthma, dirty air and dirty water," said Travis Ritchie , a lawyer for the club's environmental law program in Oakland, California.
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#1 Mar 19, 2017
"Richie insists future efficiency will plummet because operating the plant only a half-dozen days a year still requires year-round maintenance. Plus, it takes two or three days to start it up and the same to shut it down."
This plant is really slow to react to grid conditions, what happens if you get a cascading shut down along the grid? The plant shuts down and then would take two days minimum to start up again?
"The argument for coal has always been that, yeah, it's slow and lumbering and it's dirty, but once you turn it on, it's super cheap because you just leave it on and keep throwing coal in the boiler," Richie said." "Now, other than the super-hot days when everyone in the entire West is running their air conditioners at the same time, it is more expensive than any other energy."
On those super hot days, you still need something that can react to surges and sags along the grid to keep it stable under heavy loads, this coal plant is not the way. With Tesla next door, for less than $1 billion dollars, NV Energy could install a 500 MWh energy storage facility in place of this plant. The power can be 'saved' when wind and solar PV are overproducing and send power back into the grid within milliseconds instead of hours or days.
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