Wacky Weekend: NERC to relax power grid frequency strictures

Mark Radabaugh mark at amplex.net
Mon Jun 27 18:23:16 UTC 2011

On 6/27/11 1:19 PM, Matthew Black wrote:
> On Fri, 24 Jun 2011 18:29:14 -0400
>  Jay Ashworth <jra at baylink.com> wrote:
>> The North American Electric Reliability Council is planning to relax
>> the standards for how closely power utilities must hold to 60.00Hz.
>> Here's my absolute favorite quote of all time:
>>  Tweaking the power grid's frequency is expensive and takes a lot of 
>> effort,  said Joe McClelland, head of electric reliability for the 
>> Federal Energy  Regulatory Commission.
> I blinked too after hearing of this. They say it's an economic issue 
> because it costs millions of dollars to maintain a steady frequency. 
> Excuse me...we probably spend over $50 billion per year on electricity 
> and they're complaining about a few million. Talk about pinching pennies!
> matthew black
It's not just a cash issue.  Frequency controls how power moves through 
the grid.  Power flows from the higher frequency area to the lower 
frequency area (not exactly but close enough for this discussion).   It 
limits the ability to generate power in areas that have excess and loads 
transmission lines with power being used to correct frequency.


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