Duke Explores Rooftop Solar

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

 

An installer for Stellar Solar carries a solar panel at a home in Encinitas, Calif. Rooftop panels are gaining popularity as the industry faces “anemic” growth in power demand.

“It is obviously a potential threat to us over the long term and an opportunity in the short term,” Rogers said in an interview after the meeting. “If the cost of solar panels keeps coming down, installation costs come down and if they combine solar with battery technology and a power management system, then we have someone just using us for backup,” he said.

If the CEO of Duke is positing that solar panel costs and installation costs might not come down, that would be whistling past the graveyard. But, if he is sending up a trial balloon to get his board and executives to start thinking seriously about disruption, then he might want to push harder, faster. Once solar becomes cost-effective, it will be too late to get on board the train. See SolarCity Winning Competition With Utilities For Customers.

via Duke Explores Rooftop Solar as Panels Slow Demand, CEO Says – Bloomberg.

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

Republican Mayor Of Lancaster, CA Requires Solar Power On Every New Home

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

A first-of-its-kind requirement for solar power systems is going to be implemented in Lancaster, California. The requirement is that solar power systems be installed on all new single-family homes within the city. Furthermore, this announcement comes from a Republican mayor.

Although the rules require installation of only modest amounts of solar, this is the beginning of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). The requirements are from 1 to 1.5 kW, depending on lot size. While some builders may go the cheapest solar panel route, others may use things like Dow’s solar shingles, while others might exceed the minimum amounts.

“One day, a person would no more think about buying a house without
solar shingles than they would buy a house without plumbing. That is our
hope, at least.” John Cleereman, Senior Director of Solar Development at
Dow Chemical Company. Lancaster, CA, is bringing that hope one step closer.

via Solar Power Required On Every New Home — Pioneering Requirement From Lancaster, California – CleanTechnica.

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

Solar energy companies upset over Idaho Power proposal

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

BOISE — Alternative energy companies are at odds with Idaho Power over a proposed change in fees.Solar Power companies say Idaho Power is running them out of business, but Idaho Power says they’re looking out for the hundreds of thousands of…

Idaho Power is doing the right thing by trying to get its prices lined up with how it incurs costs. However, it is making several mistakes that will make its proposal harder for regulators and the public to accept. I know that “proffered advice stinketh,” but I will proffer some anyway.

First, Idaho Power is cloaking its proposal in the name of fairness to all customers yet ignoring the obvious benefits that accrue to the company. People will not buy this. Instead, Idaho Power should explain how its current prices do not reflect how it incurs costs and that this means people with solar are not paying the cost of serving them. Included in this should be a calculation of what things would look like if nothing changes and all residences had solar. Let others determine what “fair” is.

Second, Idaho Power is applying the increase in fixed and demand charges only to customers with net metering, predominantly solar. This, on its face, appears unfair and contradicts their fairness argument. Instead, they should apply any price structure change to all customers. Moreover, it just changes the incentives such that customers still put in solar but eschew net metering so they can still avoid high variable prices. It encourages the adoption of energy storage that is, from a societal perspective, uneconomic.

Third, Idaho Power is making a large change very fast. This looks unreasonable to government price setters (regulators), and especially antagonizes a relatively small interest group, making acceptance of the change harder. Instead, they should propose a series of revenue neutral changes every six months for all rate classes, the result of which will bring them toward where they want to be over a reasonable period, say five years.

Fourth, Idaho Power should propose to purchase excess power at their avoided cost based on the time it is delivered. There has to be good faith in the calculations which take into account avoided capacity, transmission, and distribution as well as line losses and energy. And they should seek the opportunity to invest in rooftop solar at their regulated rate of return to both show that they support solar and customer generation and that they are indifferent as to where they own generation.

Idaho Power’s proposal will not stop distributed generation, it will only twist it in uneconomic ways. Net metering does not work on a large scale (unless it is changed so much it is not really net metering) because if everyone installed enough distributed generation, there would be no net sales of kWh but  there would still be the costs of generation. It is time to begin selling and buying retail electricity at prices that reflect costs. Our window to get this right is short.

See on www.ktvb.com

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

Hawai’i Leads the Way with Cutting-Edge Solar Energy Policy

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

EARTHJUSTICE — This proactive approach to distributed solar is the next evolutionary step toward transforming the grid to enable homes and businesses to produce their own clean power …

Douglas Short‘s insight:

Quite simply, the article might have been better titled “Hawai’i Utility Stops Obstinance, Embraces Distributed Generation Future.”

The Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) for years took steps that stopped solar power, each of them recounted here in their customer-infuriating detail. The sad thing is, I don’t think HECO was being malicious. Instead, they were just a bunch of engineers trying to protect their grid and financial folks trying to protect their company, all based on how they thought things should work. Only after being metaphorically beaten over the head several times did they allow interest groups to help them get to a place they needed to be, and get praised for going there. Unfortunately, they had to wreck their relationship with thousands of their customers.

It happened first in Hawai’i, but the same scenario is being replayed in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia, and South Carolina (so far). The answer for utilities is to recognize where the industry is going to go and figure out how to get there in the best way. See Disruption On All Sides – What Is A Utility To Do?

See on ecowatch.org

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

EV Solar And Battery Powered Charging Station Ready To Charge At Indiana’s Clay Terrace

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

Shoppers at Clay Terrace in Carmel, Ind. can, as of yesterday, charge their EV while shopping through an innovative charging station.

Shoppers at Clay Terrace in Carmel, Ind. can, as of yesterday, charge their EV while shopping through an innovative charging station. The Simon Property Group, Toshiba Corporation, Duke Energy …
Douglas Short‘s insight:

The key item, I think, is not the solar charging of EVs. Instead, it is the solar + storage solution they have created.

“The solar energy can be stored in the Toshiba 75-kilowatt lithium ion battery, located next to the charging system. Toshiba developed its end of the ‘Plug-in Ecosystem’ for North America by combining existing micro-EMS (energy management system) optimization control capabilities with our latest rechargeable battery technology. This system ensures the efficient management of load within the EV charging system.”

It sounds exactly like what is needed, on a smaller scale, for homes and small businesses to store excess solar energy.

See on elonmusktesla.wordpress.com -Today, 3:59 PM

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

Hawaii’s PUC ponders on-bill financing of solar energy systems

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

See on Scoop.itSolar Electricity

America’s Aloha State soon may help residents to welcome solar energy into their homes at a reasonable monthly rate.

Douglas Short‘s insight:

Hawaii’s high electric energy costs result from oil-fired generation. On-bill financing for rooftop solar works in Hawaii because the cost of solar is justified by the avoided energy cost alone, so “residential photovoltaics can be installed more widely, with utilities retaining their customer base.” It will not work for mainland power based on cheap natural gas, unless we have a carbon tax that internalizes the pollution costs in the price.

See on www.pv-magazine.com

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

UK and Italy: invest in solar or “pay the price”

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

See on Scoop.itSolar Electricity

Energy market analysts with GlobalData have sent a warning to U.K. and Italian consumers, saying that they should “invest in solar or pay the price”.

Douglas Short‘s insight:

The analysts say that rising gas prices are a key driver, as well as rising electricity prices from non-fuel items. Put another way, lower sales and higher fixed costs are driving increases in volumetric prices for transmission and distribution. The same phenomenon is going on in Germany.

I think it is going to be a race for the utilities: can they reform their pricing structures fast enough to beat the drop in energy storage prices. They must charge for T&D using a non-bypassable charge, i.e., customer charge, but they cannot raise it too precipitously; customers need time to respond. This means they need to start a series of progressive, largely revenue neutral price structure changes now, while they have time.

See on www.pv-magazine.com

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

Solar gets hotter, cheaper

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

See on Scoop.itSolar Electricity

Many lament how tough it is to do business in New York state, with high taxes and government regulations driving away businesses or preventing new ones from launching. But when it comes to solar power, you often hear a different story.

Douglas Short‘s insight:
Rooftop solar in upstate New York is hot! One of the big keys is government incentives for customer-sited solar.

See on www.mpnnow.com

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

Small-scale solar’s big potential goes untapped

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare

See on Scoop.itSolar Electricity

NIPTON, Calif. — Gerald Freeman unlocks the gate to the small power plant and goes inside. Three rows of solar collectors, elevated on troughs that track the sun’s arc like sunflowers, afford a glimpse of California’s possible energy future.

 

Douglas Short‘s insight:

The financial sector prefers large projects so that the creation / overhead costs represent a small percentage of total project costs. However, such very large projects rely on the transmission and distribution system to get the power to the customers. At some point, solar generally, and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) particularly, will become so cheap that it will be less expensive than grid power because of the transmission and distribution (T&D) cost savings. What happens, then, to the 20 year financial projections for big grid solar?

See on www.latimes.com

TwitterLinkedInGoogle+EmailFacebookPinterestEvernoteShare