Virginia will pay trillions for renewable power

for VCEA compliance does not mention it, but the numbers are so simple that they must know

about them.

No doubt Dominion is happy to let this horror slide, while they build tens of billions of dollars

worth of unreliable wind and solar power facilities. After all, the more they spend the greater

their profits. Keeping Virginia in the dark is a trillion dollar con game.

The profound ignorance of the Legislature is demonstrated by the truly strange power storage

requirements in the VCEA, which deems 2,700 megawatts (MW) of storage to be in the public


To begin with, MW is not a measure of storage capacity. It is actually the discharge rate. It is

how fast you can poor the juice, not how much is in the container. It is true that grid batteries

come with a MW rating, but this is for when they are used to stabilize the erratic output of

renewables generators. For stabilization you need a lot of power really fast so every MW counts.

For storage it is the MWh that matter.

Stabilization is not storage so this 2,700 MW number tells us nothing about how batteries might

supply a low wind heat wave. However, as a rule of thumb the MWh of battery storage capacity

is typically from two to four times the MW of discharge capacity.

So the VCEA batteries might provide from 5,400 to 10,800 MWh of power storage. But we need

2,000,000 MWh to weather our heat wave. This makes the VCEA numbers so small as to be

nonexistent. Clearly the Virginia Legislature did not know about this enormous storage


Also, batteries are sometimes listed by MW in order to make them look like generators, which in

fact come in MW. This is a deceptive practice. A 100 MW generator running constantly for 7

days produces 16,800 MWh of juice. A 100 MW battery only produces as much as it holds,

typically 200 to 400 MWh. Thus making the battery sound like the generator is extremely

misleading. Perhaps the Virginia Legislature was misled.

As for the THREE TRILLION DOLLARS cost estimate, that might come down if grid scale

batteries get cheaper. After all, electric vehicle batteries have come down in cost quite a bit. This

is due to a combination of innovation, standardization and mass production.

But there are also big reasons why this staggering cost might actually be very low. Here are

several looming drivers of higher cost:

1 Our estimate is based on average power usage, but these heat waves create peak power usage,

which can easily be 30% greater or more. So we might need 30% or so more batteries.

2 There is also the goal of converting all cars and trucks to electric power. Nationally the energy

content of all the gasoline and diesel we use is much greater than the electricity we use. Thus

switching to electric vehicles might require more than double the present electric power output.

So we might need 100% or so more batteries.

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* This article was originally published here

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