Solar Energy Relationship with Utilities 

Adrienne SorensenOctober 2, 2018 1251 0

Solar Energy Relationship with Utilities

Numbers show the budding relationship between utilities and renewable energy is growing. It continues to move the power system's transition to higher renewables penetrations along.


"Utilities of all kinds and in many places are accelerating from zero to 100 on solar in response to record-low prices," Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) research manager and paper lead author Daisy Chung told Utility Dive.


Seb Henbest, lead author of Bloomberg New Energy Finance New Energy Outlook, wrote July 25. "By 2050, we're painting a picture of an electricity system utterly reshaped around cheap wind, solar and batteries."


Reviewing the Numbers

Both wind and solar were 8.2% of U.S. generation last year, with solar at 1.9%, U.S. networks are integrating record levels of solar energy smoothly. Wind and solar created 64.6% of California's power on May 26, 2018. Investors believe that "phenomenally abundant" renewable energy could give to a trillion-dollar U.S. market by 2030 and clean energy will play a big contribution to it, according to an April American Council on Renewable Energy survey.


Utilities 42 GW of solar to the grid, including 7.4 GW in 2017. Public power utilities added 1,210 MW of solar and are "gaining industry recognition," SEPA reports. In a few instances, low prices make renewable energy a factor. For instance, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority added 27.3 MW of clean energy last year, a 913 watts of solar per customer rate.


This decision ranked 7th in SEPA's watts per customer ranking, to feature smaller utilities' great works. The development was with Arizona public power utility Salt River Project. An agreement as signed highlights on 500 MW more on Navajo land. There were 148 state solar policy actions between April 1 and June 30, according to the Q2 2018 renewable energy policy update from the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.


The 116 state-level policy actions are about net energy metering (NEM). At least 59 note using a secondary to the NEM retail electricity rate compensation for solar owners' generation exported to the network. Renewable energy continues to handle policy obstacles that are usually local concerns. For example, legalizing leasing in Florida, that doesn’t feature national growth.


Share Innovations

The SEPA report evaluates future innovations that utilities and clean energy can provide; solar-plus-storage, advanced inverters and microgrids. The price reduction expands the utility-solar friendship. Clean energy will become the new normal in a green portfolio and accepted by utilities.


Clean energy is the customer choice where utilities orchestrate and maximize choices of services and resources. The utility will give dependable and economical electricity. The transition to solar energy being a large part of utilities will be a healthy one as as long as it doesn’t compromise their customers' ownership of solar.


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