Tag: Utility Integration

The Effect of Natural Disasters on Electricity Prices

Solar leasing promoters have long claimed that electricity costs will keep rising, but we haven’t see this happening – yet.  Actually, almost all of the standard generation sources are benefiting from lower costs – natural gas is low, coal is low, and nuclear is… well it’s not dramatically more expensive than it has been. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that prices are going to go up.

A Helpful Roadmap for California’s Certified “Smart Inverters”

Solar inverters are becoming more intelligent this year. California’s Rule 21, which is now partially in effect, governs the safety of PV arrays and their interconnection communications with the local investor-owned utility. 

The rule has three basic phases, of which the first came into effect Sept. 8 under a draft resolution of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The effective date for the other two phases has not yet been set, however a CPUC vote on the draft resolution is set for October 12, and a California Smart Inverter Working Group (SWIG) workshop on Phases 2 and 3 is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Do Solar Owners Love Solar the Way Gun Owners Love Guns?

There has been talk for years about the need for the industry to mobilize rooftop solar owners into one group that together would represent one large voice in favor of solar-friendly local, state and federal policy. With more than 1,000,0000 installations in the U.S., that voice would certainly be loud and strong.

A loud, centralized voice couldn’t be more important in U.S. politics right now, where the Trump administration is eying tariffs, policies and rules that could crush the solar industry. One such initiative is the recent DOE directive that is looking to re-write the rules around compensation for power plants, a move that would pay solar and wind facilities less than coal or nuclear generation for the energy they produce. 

Leaving the Grid: How Utilities Can Manage Grid Defection in the Age of Solar

According to a recent report by the International Energy Agency, renewable energy is expected to deliver about 28 percent of the world’s electricity by 2021 — up from 23 percent last year. There’s no question that consumers have shown increased interest in leveraging renewable energy solutions over traditional generation services, citing reasons such as reduced carbon footprints, cost savings and even aesthetics.

Aliso Canyon and the Blackout Threat — California Utilities Fast-Track Battery Storage Projects

The result of a massive gas leak in Aliso Canyon threw California utilities into a panic, facing the possibility of weeks of rolling blackouts in the Los Angeles area. Now, SoCal Edison and SDG&E are working to push forward battery-powered energy storage projects to help manage the situation. We’re not talking about a few batteries here and there. We’re talking about setting a new speed record for battery storage installations. In other words, the energy storage revolution is about to get a jump-start from California utility companies.

How Medium and Small Firms Can Join the Renewable Energy Rush

Renewable energy purchasing has evolved into a sophisticated combination of savings calculations incorporating demand charge savings, multiple energy pricing options, and increasingly flexible generation siting. Large corporations have embraced this trend, by buying more renewable energy than ever — a recent PwC survey showed 72 percent of surveyed firms are actively pursuing clean energy procurement.

San Francisco’s Community Choice Aggregation Program for Clean Energy Goes Online

San Francisco’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program for clean energy — CleanPowerSF — has arrived. First proposed in 1998, the program has been mired in conflicting agendas for almost two decades, mirroring the erratic evolution of the CCA movement as a whole over that same period of time. Now, finally, the program is online and serving 7,800 locations with a load of 40 MW. At full capacity, CleanPowerSF plans to deliver 400 MW of power to over 300,000 accounts.