New York is in a state of denial as it promotes Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems based on natural gas while prohibiting gas development and pipelines.
When Vic Furman recently wrote about the new microgrid energy system which will use natural gas to efficiently power the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza in Albany, few of us realized just how astounding the whole thing was. We knew it was big but had little idea how big. It turns out, in fact, the Albany deal is just one of 11 micro-grid projects being assisted by the State of Nw York, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s empire. All 11 involve natural gas; the same natural gas Governor Corruptocrat refuses to allow to be produced or shipped into his domain.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is under the thumb of Governor Corruptocrat, who views it as a slush fund for making grant awards that begin with “Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced.” It is also the parent agency for the NY Green Bank, which passes out favors to big-time favors to fractivist funders such as hedge fund king James Simon who has a major investment in Vivint Solar and was rewarded for his political support of Cuomo by a sweetheart deal with the bank.
NYSERDA does some good work, of course, like all such agencies, but it is bound by rules of political correctness that are especially tight in New York where the demand is not only to pose the governor in the best possible light (that much is true in most states) but also to make it appear he’s the green energy prophet and savior. It’s a title he supposes will get him a Presidential nomination someday from his uber-PC brethren in the Empire State. Thus, everything NYSERDA does, directly or indirectly, promotes green energy as the alternative to natural gas. The microgrid competition that yielded the Albany project (the “NY Prize” competition) is no exception, as this excerpt from a news story on the awards indicates:
“It’s critical that communities across New York have reliable power to provide vital services when they are needed the most,” Cuomo said. “These awards will help local government modernize and harden their power infrastructure, as well as join this administration’s fight against climate change, and create a cleaner, greener, Empire State for all.”
NYSERDA already awarded over $8 million for Stage 1 of the competition to 83 communities across the state. The Stage 1 winners used the funds to conduct microgrid feasibility studies in 2015. Nearly 150 communities had applied for the initial stage of the competition.
The competition drew teams of microgrid industry players not only from New York, but from across the U.S., making the state an epicenter of microgrid activity. The participants sought ways to solve community-specific problems with microgrids...
Microgrids will allow many of these communities to focus on the continuity of critical services rather than disaster recovery. As a result of this competition, New York’s grid will become more reliable, secure, and resilient–one microgrid at a time.
Utilities played an active role in Stage 1 of the competition by identifying “grid opportunity zones,” or geographic areas where microgrids may reduce utility system constraints, and defer expensive infrastructure investment costs. Utilities also assisted communities and other partners with submission of their applications.
Funding for Stage 1 and Stage 2 totals nearly $20 million.
Reading this story and another more detailed one the next day produces but a single mention of the term “natural gas” and then only together with “biogas” produced from a wastewater treatment plant. The word “gas” only appears two more times; once in the name of a partner company (National Fuel Gas) and the second in conjunction with a Rockville Centre project. Natural gas is so hidden in the PR for these microgrid awards as to be nearly invisible; which is the intention, of course. Instead, there are nine references to something called “Combined Heat & Power” or CHP (once known as co-generation) where heat from making power is recycled to make more power.
Dig just below the surface, though, and one finds natural gas is the heart of all 11 projects because it’s the only thing that makes any economic sense or allows the productive use of renewables in any fashion at all. It is natural gas fired electric generation plants that offer the potential for CHP projects. Every reference to CHP in the above stories is actually code for natural gas so the casual reader doesn’t realize NYSERDA is making its green energy experiment work to generate headlines for the governor by relying upon natural gas as the baseload provider of energy. The CHP on the shoulder is courtesy of natural gas.
Check it out. Every one of these 11 microgram projects selected because of their potential to actually make a difference, involved natural gas. The Rockville Centre project, for instance, is described as follows:
The microgrid project design calls for up to 700 kW of solar power and 6 to 12 MW of dual-fuel or gas-fired generation. The microgrid may also use energy storage, demand-side management, and CHP.
Notice the natural gas component contributions dwarf those of the solar. No doubt the much bigger capacity factors of natural gas play into this. NYSERDA figures on this score for yesterday indicate the solar capacity factor was only a little more than one-third of those for CHP generation.
Even the Syracuse waste-to-energy project involves more natural gas power generation (9 MW) than biogas (6 MW) and all 11 projects have natural gas generation as their core element to achieve economic viability. What does this tell us? Well, simply this; even a New York State under a governor determined to oppose natural gas development and pipelines, cannot avoid its use. Why? Because it’s the only thing that makes sense and if you want results to which you can point as successes you must use natural gas. Even Governor Corruptocrat gets that. He’s just governing a state in denial.