15 Comments

I love when someone can point to a specific graph as a reason for making a big bet.

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May 11·edited May 11Liked by Packy McCormick

This is great. Very exciting and mostly reassuring as someone who just moved to TX! The FERC vs. PUC distinction is so interesting. Phone call away if Base ever needs help litigating in TX!

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May 9Liked by Packy McCormick

Awesome read. I will annoy friends and family by talking non-stop about this article the upcoming days for sure

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May 9Liked by Packy McCormick

Just threatened my family with the same thing

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Really great deep dive. Keep them coming. The longer the better. Having lived in Texas for 2 years (2016-2018) I really understand where this is coming from. Huge opportunity. Hard tech.

Would also be worth looking at what happens when a system works e.g. Finland Grid is world class and their plans for the future.

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May 8Liked by Packy McCormick

You have two graphics related to battery placement. The images are different, but the text indicates that the batteries should be placed closer to the panels. The second graphic is incorrect. Very interesting read.

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May 8Liked by Packy McCormick

The concept here is great and I appreciate the detailed writeup for folks who aren't familiar with VPPs or other versions of this business model. One important thing that you didn't mention, which IMO is the biggest differentiator between Base and others trying to do this is that Zach is Michael's son, which gets him into rooms and access to capital that others who have had this vision don't have. This doesn't have to be a bad thing! But it is a real business differentiator, and it is okay to acknowledge that.

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May 8Liked by Packy McCormick

This is a great read. As a power engineer and entrepreneur, I appreciate how you navigated both the technical and business aspects of this worthy hard problem to solve. Thanks for sharing.

I think there’s a typo on this line: “It doesn’t take too many days like that to pay back an ~$8,000 20MWh battery.” Should be 20kWh since that’s what’s mentioned earlier as Base’s target battery size. Though $0.40/kWh batteries would be awesome!!

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You posed a philosophical question, not a scientific question. Any answer would be speculation firmly planted in mist.

No offense, but this is all the time you will get from me.

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What I believe is that it’s scientifically impossible to predict earthquake intensity and location and tsunamis. I also believe using the 75-year history of nuclear power and nuclear waste as a sample size for 200,000 years would get me laughed out of the lab. One example: the Northwest is overdue for a major earthquake. Already, the buried nuclear waste at Hanford is leeching into underground water and moving toward the Columbia River. There have been multiple problems at San Louis Obispo. To begin with, it’s built in one of the most-active geologic fault zones in the world. The response of nuclear officials to these problems has been to apply for a 20-year extension of its permit.

The flaws in the pro-nuclear power argument are manifold and have thousands of unknown events over 200,000. Some nuclear scientists think they’re Nostradamus. The burden is on them to prove they’re assumptions aren’t flawed.

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What if you also need to understand consciousness and culture...but are unable to, *because they are invisible*? 😮

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I thought nuclear power was based on science, not metaphysics.

Using silviculture and biology as an example. Can I predict how long a specific tree will live. No one thing is dispositive for the death of a tree. Wind, flooding, drought, lightning, insect predation, pathogens, abiotic injury can kill a tree at any time. Bristlecone pine can live 8,000 years (Methuselah, Sierra Nevada). Could a scientist predict that specific tree would live 8,000 years? Could a scientist predict which of all the Bristlecone pine trees would live or die and for how many years? And this is just an 8,000-year span, not two millennia. And doesn’t consider all the trees on Earth.

If I claimed I could predict all these scientific variables, I’d get laughed out of the lab.

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Is there something you didn't like about my question, so you answered ones more to your liking?

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Thank goodness we’re failing to expand nuclear power. I’ve yet to meet the nuclear power advocate who can predict the next two millennia of earthquakes, intensity, and geographical locations. The Earth annually experiences 5,000 earthquakes. Taiwan is shutting down its nuclear power facilities, even though it’s behind schedule with deployment of wind energy. If you have to ask why, you’re unaware of recent geologic events. If an earthquake damaged a Taiwanese nuclear power plant or stored nuclear waste, worrying about an invasion by China would rank second among concerns. Of course, if this would have happened, Taiwan could follow the Japanese plan: pump that leaking nuclear waste into the ocean, but give the world only two weeks notice.

Very smart people don’t consider the millennias-long risks. This past week, Stratechery’s Ben Thompson characterized Taiwan’s shutdown of nuclear power plants as nuts. Really? As we know, Thompson lives with his family in Taiwan. If either of the two recent earthquakes (the second was closer) had damaged a nuclear power plant or nuclear waste facility (remember Japan just a few years ago), would he have written the same sentiment as he and his family fled Taiwan?

The nuclear power industry does not have a clean record, nor has it proved to be truthful about accidents and dangers (just look at France). Or ask Karen Silkwood. Currently, Putin’s military has threatened Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant. Nuclear power plants are potential weapons in future wars. Do nuclear power advocates also know what wars will take place and where for the next two millennia? Just this week, Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons if the West keeps supporting Ukraine. Nice that this was timed to coincide with Xi’s charm offensive in . . . France.

Small, modular nuclear plants have been proposed. These represent softer targets to terrorists and foreign adversaries.

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Out of curiosity, do you believe your analysis to be without flaw?

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