As previously stated, I am open to new facts and I am open to airing both sides of the debate. This was posted as a comment by the American Wind Energy Assn. below. I am posting it in full, and as a separate posting, without edits. I have some questions at the end that I hope Mr. Goggin will see and answer. If so, I will post the answers.
Thanks for making an effort to clarify some of the confusion that came from your earlier post. However, I feel obliged to ask for a full correction or retraction to your original post for the following reasons:
1. Wind energy output was extremely high throughout the period when ERCOT implemented rolling blackouts and leading up to that period, making your claims that wind was in any way a cause of this event entirely false. ERCOT data shows wind output blasting along at over 4,000 MW Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. During the 5-7 AM window Wednesday morning, when ERCOT was forced to implement rolling blackouts, wind output was cruising along at between 3,600 MW and 3,900 MW. Throughout that time period, wind speeds on the ground were also very high across the parts of the state with the bulk of the installed wind capacity, with many areas under high wind warnings. A major problem with your article is that you are confusingly talking about the wind speeds and other conditions on Wednesday night, which has nothing to do with what was happening 12+ hours earlier when the blackouts actually happened.
2. As of mid-day yesterday, 8 hours before your post, it had already been widely reported that the blackouts were caused by roughly 50 fossil-fueled power plants totaling 7,000 MW of capacity tripping offline due to mechanical failures caused by the cold, including two coal power plants with 2,700 MW of capacity that were specifically identified in midday public statements by the Lt. Gov. Dewhurst. Why you proceeded to blame wind for the event many hours after directly contradictory evidence was broadly reported is an open question.
3. Great Britain and Minnesota have never experienced blackouts due to wind energy, contrary to your statement in the second to the last paragraph. I urge you to read the articles that you linked to, as they do not say anything remotely close to what you claim they do.
4. At the beginning of your article, you at least make clear that your attacks on wind energy are entirely based on conjecture: “The article didn’t give a clue as to what generating capability failed, but I can make a pretty good guess: Wind energy.” However, by the end, you somehow felt comfortable making sweeping statements like “Now, because of relying so much on wind power, the state is suffering blackouts.” Now that your conjectures have proven entirely false, you owe it your readers, and your credibility, to do the honorable thing and retract the article.
Since your original post has now been copied elsewhere, such as this http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/02/we-spent-billions-on-wind-power-and-all-i-got-was-a-rolling-blackout/#more-33093, I hope you understand the need to issue a full retraction to stop this confusion before it spreads further. I will be corresponding with other sites that have posted your article and asking them to do the same, and would urge you to contact them as well.
American Wind Energy Association
Mr. Goggin, thank you again. However, as I have pointed out many times through this discussion my post pertained to LAST night. If you would read my postings in their entirety that is clear.
I also think it is unfortunate that misleading media reporting confused that issue in some reader’s minds.
However, your comments above do not address the amount of wind power being generated by turbines in the State of Texas from 9pm last night (2nd) to 7am this morning (3rd), the time about which I was raising concern. I am very curious to know the answer and will gladly post it. If I am incorrect, and there were large amounts of energy (the 3,600 MW to 3,900MW you report were “cruising along” the previous night) I will retract the article.
However, as of this moment, neither you nor any of my other commenters have provided me information that my original concern about the amount of energy being generated in Texas last night was misfounded.
I look forward to your response.
P.S. To facilitate readers determining the facts for themselves, here are the links to the articles mentioned by Mr. Goggin in #3.
UPDATE 8:28pm Thursday: Mr. Goggin, since you are asserting that wind energy worked well, when you write your response that includes the amount of energy generated last night, please explain the following that pertains to the blackout period:
Wind generators also appeared to be having problems, said Fraser; he had received reports of some turbines shutting down because of issues with ice on the blades. “The wind was blowing yesterday, but I’m not sure wind generation was available because they had problems with ice,” he said. (At an Iberdrola wind farm near Corpus Christi that the Trib visited yesterday, most turbines were spinning steadily, in response to the grid operator’s call for maximum production. But the plant’s operator, Daniel Pitts, said that a few machines were having issues because the cold air had affected the nitrogen in the hydraulic system that helps run the turbines.) Dottie Roark, a spokeswoman for ERCOT, said that yesterday morning between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., about 3,500 to 4,000 megawatts of wind was available (the state has about 10,000 megawatts of wind installed).
These figures appear to approximately match yours (3,600 to 3,900 MW) which means that wind power — at best — reached 40% of its potential power during a period in which you characterize the winds as “very high” and the need was great (“grid operator’s call for maximum production”). The news story is here.
Having 60% offline and “some turbines shutting down” certainly fall within my definition of “failed.” It is possible the story above is incorrect. If it is incorrect, please state the pertinent facts when you get back to us with the amount of wind energy generated in the State of Texas during the time in question. Thank you.