How DOE’s baseload power rule ‘would blow the market up’

Subsidizing baseload power makes absolutely no sense, especially as more renewables come online. If you can't produce power economically at non-peak times, you shouldn't be on the grid.

That said, we need more peaking and mid-load plants, to make the sure ramp can be met affordably, especially on hot days. The ramp is going only to get steeper in coming years, especially as hot weather becomes more common -- and renewables slack off by mid-afternoon as the sun angle falls and wind becomes still. Grid operators have to ensure they always have enough spinning reserve to meet whatever demand is put on the grid.

Coal right now doesn't ramp well, but that's where coal supporters should be putting their money -- researching how to make coal ramp up and down quickly (and cleanly). They ramp up and down coal plants to a certain extent in wind-heavy parts of country, but it's tough on equipment that doesn't take well to temperature and pressure changes, and is actually making air pollution worse, as coal plants tend to pollute the most when they're being ramped up and down.

Map: Rome Sand Plains Unique Area

Map: Rome Sand Plains Unique Area

Rome Sand Plains is a 15,000-acre (61 km2) pine barrens consisting of a mosaic of sand dunes extending about 50 feet (15 m) above low peat bogs that lie between the dunes. The barrens are covered with mixed northern hardwood forests, meadows, and wetlands. The sand plains are about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the city center of Rome, New York, which is in Oneida County; about 4,000 acres (16 km2) presently lie in conservation preserves. Pine barrens are typical of seacoasts; the Rome Sand Plains is one of only a handful of inland pine barrens remaining in the United States.

E. W. Russell has described the Sand Plains as follows, "The landscape today forms a sharp contrast with the surrounding flat, fertile farmland, which is almost all cleared of trees and planted in crops. Uplands, including some dunes, support forest vegetation of American beech, white oak (Quercus alba), red and sugar maples, white and pitch pine (Pinus strobus and P. rigida), gray birch (Betula populifolia), hemlock, aspen (Populus spp.), American elm, and other northern hardwood species. Some uplands are also characterized as pitch pine heaths, dominated by pitch pines with an understory of blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) and other related (ericaceous) shrubs. Pitch pine is the characteristic tree of the wetlands, along with aspen, gray birch, and red maple, along with an ericaceous shrub layer."

There are several rare species in the Sand Plains, including the purple pitcher plant and a sundew (both of which are carnivorous plants), red-shouldered hawks, martens, and the frosted elfin butterfly, which is a threatened species in New York State.[3] Other species to be found include wild blue lupine (also rare, and the food for the frosted elfin), barrens buckmoth (Hemileuca maia), whippoorwill, pine warbler and pitch pine, normally indigenous to coastal areas.

The Rome Sand Plains were owned privately through about 1980. The sand was mined to make molds and cores for metal casting. An application for a permit to mine sand around 1980 triggered an effort to protect the area. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation began purchasing lands, working with The Nature Conservancy and other organizations. 1,700 acres (690 ha) of the Sand Plains have been purchased by the DEC, and are designated as the Rome Sand Plains Unique Area. The Nature Conservancy holds another 1,000 acres (400 ha). The Izaak Walton League holds about 440 acres (180 ha), Oneida County holds an additional 770 acres (310 ha) as a County Forest, and a few acres are held by the City of Rome. A map showing these holdings was released by the DEC in 2008; the map shows the location of three foot trails maintained by the DEC and one by the Izaak Walton League. A consolidated management plan involving all five preserves, and addressing the entire Sand Plains area, was released in 2006

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_Sand_Plains
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8080.html

Good morning! Happy Tuesday. Five weeks to Election Day 2017. Local elections this year, so not so many big campaigns. Sunny and 46 degrees in Delmar, NY. Calm wind. Pretty decent October morning.

Nice morning but a lot of delays heading downtown due to a crash on 787 and one on Southern Boulevard. It really slowed traffic heading into the city and made the bus a few minutes late at the Park and Ride. Still beats taking the local downtown.

Today will be sunny, with a high of 73 degrees at 3pm. Eight degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 49 at 1pm. Light south wind increasing to 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Fairly warm and nice this morning. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies, clearing in the afternoon. The high last year was 72 degrees. The record high of 83 was set in 1967. There was a dusting of snow in 1974.

The sun will set at 6:32 pm with dusk around 7:00 pm, which is one minute and 44 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for clear conditions and 68 degrees. The dew point will be 49 degrees. There will be a south breeze at 9 mph. Today will have 11 hours and 36 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 52 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low of 45 degrees at 6am. One degree above normal. South wind 5 to 8 mph. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It got down to 53 degrees. The record low of 26 occurred back in 1948.