Duke Energy customers in North and South Carolina experienced rolling blackouts over Christmas. Duke is appropriately contrite, but its explanation of its own failure is revealing:
Duke Energy executives repeatedly apologized and owned up to the situation that caused thousands in North and South Carolina to be without power during a bitter cold snap leading up to the Christmas holiday weekend. The admissions came during a hearing Tuesday before the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
According to testimony before the NCUC, high winds had already left 300,000 without power during the day of Dec. 23 before a severe cold snap later that night and into Dec. 24.
The linked story does not explain why high winds left 300,000 people without power. This may be a failure of wind turbines, as they must be shut down if the wind blows too hard.
“I want to express how sorry we are for what our customers experienced,” said Julie Janson, executive vice president, and CEO, of Duke Energy Carolinas. “Winter storm Elliott was an extremely powerful event with a unique confluence of high winds, extreme temperature drops, and other conditions that forced us to curtail power as a last resort.
“Curtailing power” means imposing rolling blackouts on Duke’s customers. A rolling blackout is when a utility intentionally cuts power to a particular area in order to prevent the entire grid from collapsing.
“The power that we purchased did not show up, therefore, we were confronted with the hard truth that our energy [capacity] would soon be eclipsed by our [demand],” stated Bowman.
The purchased power didn’t show up because nearby states were experiencing the same conditions. This is entirely predictable.
Duke Energy’s “nuclear fleet” was reliable during the storm, according to Preston Gillespie, Duke Energy’s executive vice president and chief generation officer.
Well, yes. It would be.
Duke Energy’s “nuclear fleet” was reliable, but solar generation was unable to meet peak demand because it occurred before sunrise.
Imagine that! It’s always coldest before the dawn, or something like that. The uselessness of solar energy is blindingly obvious, but utilities are happy to invest billions in solar panels and reap guaranteed profits at the expense of their customers.
Rolling blackouts are starting to become common, and they will only increase as long as our country continues its insane commitment to unreliable “green” energy.