How Does an Off-Grid PV system Benefit the Grid?
The environmental benefits to solar energy and the solar energy tax benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to benefits to solar energy. By switching to solar you can see reductions to your electric bills (if not total elimination), you can increase the property value of your house by switching over to home solar power. But there is another benefit to going solar that most people don’t realize that comes with a solar panel installation.
What's an Off-Grid PV system?
An off-grid solar system is an alternative to being grid-tied. To ensure access to electricity, off-grid systems require battery storage and a backup generator. In addition, a battery bank needs to be replaced after 10 years. Batteries are complex, expensive and decrease overall efficiency.
Reduction of Electricity Demand
By adding a solar panel installation to their property, businesses and property owners reduce the overall demand for the electricity on the system. Those who own a home solar power system or have a mass solar install on their property can reduce their electricity usage by using their system to self-consume all of the solar panel electricity or with net metering.
Another important feature to remember is the time of when solar reduces demand is extremely important. There’s a lot of areas in the United States that are called “summer peaking”, meaning that the region uses the most power during the summer months. When the temperatures rise on summer days, the homes and businesses are forced to put their air conditioners into over driver, and other appliances are also forced to work extremely hard to make sure that they are maintaining their peak performance levels. Due to the fact that the mid-afternoon is typically the hottest time of the day, on the hottest day of the year, the mid-afternoon will be when most electricity is used. This will also be when electricity is the most expensive to produce as well as purchase.
But, on the hottest day of the summer, mid-day is also a perfect time for solar panel electricity, they’ll produce the maximum output under those circumstances. A result of this will be, not only will solar electricity reduce the demand for solar electricity on the system, but it will also help to reduce the electricity when the gird needs it most, easing the overall stress that is on the grid and reducing the prices for consumers throughout the whole state or region.
Transmission System Stress Reduction
There will be two primary charges on an electrical bill. There will be one for the actual electricity that is consumed, aka your supply charge, and another for the transmission of the electricity to your home, which is called your transmission and distribution charge. By adding a solar panel installation to your home you are helping reduce the need that you have for producing and procuring electricity, which will reduce the amount of electricity that needs to be moved across transmission and distribution lines.
On a larger scale, this can be a huge benefit. The more and more people that need more and more electricity in certain areas, the transmission and distribution systems can be very stressed. The poles and wires that are in the transmission grid act like pipes here are much electricity that can push through before they re full. Once the wires are at maximum capacity, your utilities will need to invest heavily to build additional poles and wires to meet the new demand. By adding a solar panel installation you reduce demand, which can reduce or delay the need for new transmission lines to be installed, saving you hundreds and millions of dollars.
Cost Reduction for the Electricity System
There are two primary ways that solar helps the grid, offsetting the need for spending on both generation and transmission upgrades, add up to massive savings for all consumers in the electricity grid. For instance, a study by Synapse Energy Economics found that distributed solar saved the electricity consumers in New England $20 million dollars the 2018 summer. From the reduction of stress on the system, distributed solar panel electricity reduced the cost of power by nearly 15% when the grid was stressed the most.
Advantages and Perks
No access to the utility network: Off-grid solar panel systems are cheaper than extending power lines in particularly easy-grid if you’re over 100 yards from the grid. The overhead transmission line prices range from $174,000 per mile to $11,000,000 per mile.
Become energy self-sufficient: Living off the grid and being self-sufficient feels good. For some, it’s a form of security. Power failures on the utility grid do not affect the off-grid solar panel system.
General off-grid solar components: solar charge controller, battery bank, DC disconnect solar panel system inverter, backup generator.
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