Thanks to Mr. Glenn Schleede for providing the following excellent information, beginning with his Key Electric Industry Terms provided here for your convenience:
Mr. Schleede also credits Eric Rosenbloom for pointing to this “excellent article from PowerGen Worldwide that explains how fast starting gas-fired generating units are being built in the US for the specific purpose of providing backup generation and grid balancing in areas where “wind farms” are built. The article is especially good because it explains the differences between spinning reserve generating units, generating units that on line and producing at less than full capacity, and units that are in “standby” that can be started up and begin producing in about 10 minutes.”
Mr. Schleede says that, “if you have been struggling to understand the differences in the above generating unit functions and operating modes, this article at Power-Gen Worldwide should help: Gas Fired Back-up Power – Back-up power for wind: Striking the right balance.
Mr. Schleede notes that “the manufacturer of the generating units described in the article, Wärtsilä, is a Finnish manufacturer of large diesel and gas engines for use in powering ships and electricity generation.” He suggests that “this is just one more way in which US electric customers’ dollars are flowing out of the country when electricity from wind is adopted.”
Mr. Schleede is semi-retired after spending more than 30 years dealing with energy matters in the federal government and private sector. He writes frequently about energy issues, particularly about government policies that adversely affect consumers and taxpayers.
Mr. Rosenbloom is a science editor and writer living in Vermont. His web side is here.