Electrical grid doesn’t discriminate | Letter to the editor

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion
Electrical grid doesn’t discriminate | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

“Green” electric-power-only is not an option. That’s not how an electrical grid works.

Whether wind, solar, coal, gas or hydro generated, all power funnels indiscriminately through the same power lines to reach their destinations. Whether green or dirty, the receiving household doesn’t choose. Rather, power from a myriad of sources flows to each of Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) 1.1 million customers.

Imagine the electrical grid as a water reservoir fed by rivers, streams and underground springs of unknown origin. Whether a droplet that comes out of your kitchen faucet originated in an underground spring or a polluted river, no one knows.

Electrical power, unlike water, cannot be stored in the equivalent of a reservoir.

The second a kilowatt of energy is generated it enters the grid. It flows along wire to where needed, just as water flows through a pipe to where needed. We cannot pick and choose which water droplet we want to wash up in or which energy source we want to use to turn on our lights.

A grid manager, like PSE, is constantly balancing the load, bringing online (or taking off) generators used to fill the gap, and monitoring voltage (the pressure). Too many kilowatts and the line can overheat and burn out. Too little and there’s brownouts or power failures.

Even Bonneville Power, which is 10 percent nuclear, would be mixed with other power sources at the Gorst substation before being fed into the PSE transmission line to Bainbridge.

DAVE MACKENZIE

Bainbridge Island

More in Opinion

.
Christie embarrassing, just go away

If Bill Murray were to star in a sequel to Groundhog Day,… Continue reading

.
Allowing government to set prices is scary

The latest iteration of Build Back Better — the president’s multi-trillion-dollar tax-and-spending… Continue reading

.
Irresponsible kicking tax can down the road

Remember the TV ad where the auto mechanic looks viewers straight in… Continue reading

BI leaders need to change meetings

Bainbridge Island City Council, the school board and the parks commission could… Continue reading

.
Rittenhouse verdict only encourages vigilantes

Not guilty on all counts. That was the verdict rendered in the… Continue reading

Treat all instances of hatred, bias equally

About a month ago, I was traveling on the subway in Philadelphia… Continue reading

.
It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas – in November

These days, we’re all used to walking through retail stores in October… Continue reading

.
Give thanks; gratitude makes us happy

Because life is mostly made up of little experiences, occasionally interrupted by… Continue reading

.
Cash it in means nothing today

Slick Willie Sutton, the 1930’s bandit who favored elaborate disguises, was once… Continue reading

Most Read