Author Archives: Ross Baldick

About Ross Baldick

Electricity is an increasingly complex industry in the midst of transition to renewables and decarbonization. Using my 25 years’ experience as an engineer, policy analyst, and academic, I help my consulting clients think through their toughest technical challenges and formulate their best business strategies.

Pumping water uphill: storing energy without batteries

It’s been my pleasure for the past several years to supervise a senior design project in my Electrical and Computer Engineering department at The University of Texas at Austin. The project is aimed at avoiding battery storage in off-grid solar applications … Continue reading

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Pathways to decarbonization: ZECs, DERs, and inertia

Decarbonization was the theme of the seventh annual Austin Electricity Conference, held April 20 and 21 by the UT McCombs School of Business, Cockrell School of Engineering, LBJ School of Public Policy, and School of Law. As the name implies, … Continue reading

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John Goodenough, batteries, and steam trains

My wife and I often enjoy BBC documentaries, and historian Dan Snow is a favorite host.  In his series about the history of railways in England, he observed that, as the industrial revolution increased manufacturing in England, there was a … Continue reading

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“Smart Grid” highlights

My “Smart Grid” course continues apace. Highlights have included lectures by Andres Carvallo on the architecture of the grid, and several lectures on existing and upcoming “smarts” at the wholesale generation and transmission level, including wholesale operations by Dave Maggio, … Continue reading

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“Smart Grids” course features industry experts

I’ve been in the thick of it recently, putting the finishing touches on a new course I’ve designed about smart grids for my students at UT Austin. “Smart Grids” begins in less than two weeks. Back story: During more than … Continue reading

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How much storage is even feasible?

In response to my last post, about the challenges of wind integration, a reader asked: “Is building storage of this scale even feasible?” If you had asked me in 2000, “Could wind get to 18GW wind in ERCOT by 2016?” … Continue reading

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ERCOT: meeting the challenges of wind integration

Texas has, by far, the highest penetration of wind among the three main US interconnections (Eastern, Western, and Texas), and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has met the challenges of wind integration. ERCOT is set to get even … Continue reading

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Solar in a Quito hotel

I recently had the pleasure of staying at a hotel in the old town of Quito, Ecuador, and saw a photovoltaic (PV) installation that would seem strange in most of the world. We typically see PV panels tilting toward the … Continue reading

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