Hi there, this goes out to the dudes that make the power stay on. Well, probably your Unions. Might wanna give this a quick read-a-roonie just in case you’re sitting on your ass unsure what to do or how to plan shit. Anyway, if you want to have a leg up on this shit, give some serious thought about setting up a “camp” at the facilities and have workers move in there temporarily until this shit blows over a bit. Italy has had to resort to doing it in order to keep the lights on, we’re not there yet… but it would be prudent for you folks to start laying the groundwork for the same kinda shit over here. They’ve broken up the duties of grid control to shifts of six people each+two remote workers connected via skype at all times monitoring the shit.
in the states, EPRI published an analysis of the effects of the virus on electricity demand and use in Italy, Spain, New York and California based on publicly available data. Those power systems recorded reductions in peak demand and energy use of 3% to 15% in the first two to three weekdays of each region’s shelter-in-place order when compared with the previous week and the same week in 2019.
All throughout Europe gas and power grid operators are busting balls trying to roll out some kind of a emergency plan to make sure their control rooms are not completely fucked from the infection, and can continue to keep critical infrastructure running.
This is further exacerbated by the plunge in demand as economies have ground to a fucking halt. Since renewable energy is a priority over there, it’s meant that wind and solar is providing a much greater proportion of electricity than ever before. However, these intermittent power sources make it super hard to keep grids stable, increasing the risk of blackouts.
If you want names of who to look at for guidance, Terna is Italy’s power grid manager, they have a multi tiered plan in event shit goes real bad. The final emergency plan revolves around a centralized control room with 15 day long shifts where no one leaves until the 15 days is up. Another good one is Wien Energie from Austria. Basically, there 53 employees have agreed to live apart from their family for almost a month at a time in order to ensure plants run smoothly. Poland’s PSE is also doing some crazy shit, but they’re mainly concerned about screening and controlling movement in and out of the control rooms like hawks. Same with UK and Ireland, they just minimize room access and teams are split to reduce risk of cross-infection.
The drop in demand is robbing markets of a key source of flexibility: industrial plants often act as grid stabilizers by using their own power generators to help balance less reliable wind and solar inflows. Germany saw that it’s consumption on March 23rd was 5% lower than the average for the same day over the past three years. People normally think that outages happen when demand fucks the supply, however some of the most prolific blackouts in recent times took place during periods of low demand.