backup generator failure, backup generators, backup power, barrier islands, cancer, Category 5 hurricanes, clean water, dangers of nuclear, diesel generators, Disaster resiliency, electric grid, emergeny generator, environment, Florida, Florida Power and Light, FPL, Fukushima, Georgia, grid, grid failure, Gulf Coast region, hurricane evacuation, Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Sandy, hurricanes, Hutchinson Island, Matthew, most powerful Atlantic hurricanes, New Jersey, North Carolina, NRC, nuclear, nuclear accident, nuclear disaster, nuclear energy, nuclear industry, nuclear power, nuclear reactors, nuclear safety, power outage, powerlines, precipitation, PV, rainfall, resiliency, risk management, rooftop solar, Sand overwash, solar energy, Solar Power, South Carolina, St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station, Storm Surge, sunbelt, US NRC, US NRC Flood Walkdown, USA, Virginia, water
“Hurricane Matthew caused damage to the electric power sector from Florida to Virginia, primarily in coastal areas… Utilities are conducting flyovers to assess damage to transmission systems… Florida law requires all motor fuel terminals to be able to dispense fuel for a minimum of 72 hours using an alternative fuel supply to the electric grid. All gas stations built after 2006, gas stations within one-half mile of an interstate highway or designated evacuation route, or gas stations in certain sized counties with a certain number of fueling positions must be prewired for an alternative power source.”
“Unit 1 of the FPL St. Lucie Nuclear Plant was previously offline for refueling. Unit 2 is now also completely powered down, standard procedure when the facility is under a Hurricane Warning.”
Not only do nuclear power stations have to power down prior to the arrival of a hurricane, as St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station finally did in Florida, but they require backup power (diesel generators if the grid goes down) for cooling and instrumentation, possibly taking energy from other customers, along with risking a nuclear meltdown in the event of diesel generator failure, as occurred at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/reactor-status/ps.html
With rooftop solar there are no transmission difficulties.
Power Lines Crossing Water to connect to St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station in Florida
Power Lines Connected to St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station run above a road that is a hurricane evac route.
St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station in the midst of water on Hutchinson Barrier Island
Loss of electricity after hurricanes is why many in the US Gulf Coast region have favored dangerous natural gas for stoves – at least they can cook and boil water. But, there is a better way for the Sunbelt and even beyond the Sunbelt!
“How Solar PV Can Support Disaster Resiliency
February 3, 2015 by Eliza Hotchkiss
When Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the east coast of the United States, New Jersey was ranked second in the country for solar photovoltaic (PV) implementation—only behind California. However, when millions of New Jerseyans were without power after the storm, only two PV systems in the state were operational.
NREL began researching existing PV systems and conducting site assessments in New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy. The challenge that New Jersey was faced with was that, despite having ample solar PV installed, the systems were non-operational due to disconnect policies and the type of control technology installed. These factors prevented PV systems from “islanding” or remaining operational even when the grid goes down.
According to a technical report
https://web.archive.org/web/20150912133418/http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/60631.pdf released by NREL, the majority of the PV systems in New Jersey may have been able to operate during Hurricane Sandy if the state had preemptively installed islanding controls and dynamic inverters. Such steps would have allowed police dispatch centers and communication towers to operate without grid power while residents would have been able to use critical appliances and electrical devices.
Currently, the most common practice for protecting critical facilities or assets during grid outages is to use emergency back-up generators. Generators are typically fueled by diesel and run on a monthly basis for maintenance purposes.” [NB: Backup generators for US nuclear power stations appear to be required to be tested only once per year.] “When grid power is unavailable to a site, the back-up generators are generally used to provide power until the grid is running again. This process regularly consumes fuel and creates emissions, and procurement of back-up generators generally does not prioritize fuel efficiency.” [They do not always start.]
“NREL conducted a microgrid analysis using the REopt model to determine the probability of surviving a grid outage using generators only, assuming a supply of diesel fuel that would last 2 days, and then modeled the same scenario using a hybrid system which added solar PV and battery storage to the generator (1.9 megawatts PV, 411 kilowatt hours/329 kilowatt battery).
The results indicate that energy supply is more secure when renewable energy and energy storage technologies are included in the grid system. The diesel fuel supply for the generator only lasted five days at most (assuming no fuel resupply) given the assigned critical energy loads. The hybrid system could provide power for up to 12 days, allowing the diesel fuel for the generator to last a greater length of time. The extended operation shown in Figure 1 depends on adequate controls for concurrent operation of these energy assets.”
There is no reason to use a mix. Batteries can be used: https://www.tesla.com/powerwall
The reports on outages are around 7 to 8 pages long.
From Report 5 – has same time as Report 6 but lower numbers of outages: