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Expert Interview: Deborah Le Vine  

Credit:  Yul Kwon, pbs.org/america-revealed, April 12, 2012 ~~

Yul meets Deborah Le Vine, Director of Grid Operations at CAISO (California Independent System Operator). Deborah is responsible for bringing power to thirty million Californians. She explains how, with their devoted team monitoring the ups and downs of wind power, they can balance the power supply. Surprisingly, too much wind can actually be a bad thing.

Deborah (asks technician): What’s going on with renewables now? [Click here to go to CAISO’s “Renewables Watch” page]

Technician: It’s exactly opposite of yesterday. The wind is at 140 megawatts. Yesterday it was about 2,000 megawatts.

Yul (narration): This brand new control room, which oversees most of the state’s electric grid, is the first in the country to have a team devoted to deciphering the ups and downs of wind power. But there’s a lot they simply can’t control.

Deborah: If the wind blows too hard – 50 miles per hour – the wind turbines stop.

Yul: … So then what happens?

Deborah: We need to make it up. People still want their electricity, so we need to have fossil generation on standby able to pick up to ensure that the demand is still served.

Yul: You actually have to have more conventional power sources on line to pick up the slack if the wind dies?

Deborah: We’ll need something to pick up the slack if the wind dies. Mother nature is always going to be mother nature – you can’t count on it.

Source:  Yul Kwon, pbs.org/america-revealed, April 12, 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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