Right again, Mark Henry, with your response to "Honor and betrayal" (Nov. 28) ("A response to 'Honor and betrayal,'" Dec. 5). There's no way Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) can offer anyone any specific choice in the power they receive. MBCP can purchase wind and solar, and CAISO (California Independent System Operator) can accept and use it when it's available. The power we all get comes through the same transmission and distribution lines. There is no separating any sources from the grid.
Not long ago, I called MBCP customer service. My question was who do they get their power from, and the quick answer was PG&E. Of course, we all get our power from the same source. CAISO monitors and regulates power distribution 24/7. When the demand for power increases, it finds sources to meet that demand and reduce sources when it decreases. It depends on what is available at the time, whether it is wind, solar, biomass, hydro, nuclear, fossil fuel, or geothermal.
If Diablo Canyon Power Plant, the largest source of clean energy in California, closes, then the gap for power will be filled mostly by fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry would love that to happen. So tell me how closing Diablo supports this state's quest for clean air. Wind and solar capacity is about 30 percent of what we need, which would leave us sitting in the dark a lot.
There is no customer choice for preferred power. CAISO juggles the demand for power day and night to sustain a consistent supply of power at all times. Intermittent wind and solar cannot meet these demands. There is a reason for needing multiple sources of power.
If Diablo could be replaced by wind power (and this is possibly not an absolute fact), it would take 300 square miles of land, more than 15,000 wind turbines, and the wind blowing 87 percent of the time. In California, the wind blows about 20 percent of the time. Diablo's generating output is five times greater than the Hoover Dam. Where could California put five Hoover-sized dams? For solar to replace Diablo, it would take 14 more fields the same size as Topaz Solar Farm, which would need 133 square miles of land and sun 24/7. Adding more solar and wind won't make a difference because it is not dependable. We need to depend on our power supply.
There is so much the general public doesn't know about how and why they can flip a switch and then there is light. There is so much to understand about the system of producing and delivering power. Clearly not enough is known to make informed decisions about current issues.