As renewable energy sources, namely solar and wind energy, increase in popularity, many manufacturers are wondering where this leaves them.
What is the Dilemma?
As an industry, manufacturing is a large energy consumer. The paramount worry for many in the field is that their own energy sources will be siphoned off by grid operators when solar and wind drop short of expectations. The unreliable true nature of renewables is an unfortunate reality; if it is not a sunny or windy day, then neither energy source is strong.
From a manufacturing standpoint, the growing number of large-scale solar and wind facilities makes for an unreliable grid and reduces power quality, all of which are worrisome because they can equate with safety and reliability issues at the manufacturing site. These risks lay squarely on the shoulders of the energy consumers, with some of the biggest being manufacturers. While the eco-friendly nature of solar and wind as power sources are plentiful, there are issues with adopting them across the board.
Recently, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) spoke to the Washington Examiner. As per IECA CEO and President Paul Cicio, “Industrials are not in the business of generating and selling power. We are in the business of producing manufactured products.” Cicio adds that manufacturers cannot meet internal demands for power or steam if they act like a consumer power plant.
Looking for Solutions
It is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), federally chartered regional transmission organizations, and self-regulating system engineers of these markets that look over the issues. But the FERC’s latest Primary Frequency Response notice of proposed rulemaking will likely only serve to exacerbate the problems and put more responsibility on manufacturers. Unfortunately, utility operators and mechanics often do not have in-depth experience of manufacturing processes, thus not understanding the reliability that is vital for manufacturers.
Currently, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation is assessing the situation based on manufacturers’ grievances and any changes will occur through the standards design process.
Central Metal Fabricators
As a leading manufacturer of gas turbine silencing equipment, it is our responsibility to bring awareness to various circumstances that influence the manufacturing industry.
Here at Central Metal Fabricators, our experts will continue to keep you abreast of developments as we fabricate, assemble, and install top-quality gas turbine silencing equipment and related metal products.