tbleakne
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:26 pm

I have a suggestion for what I think would be totally fair way to price power for both solar generators and others on the grid without any distributed generation of their own. I call it Virtual Microgrid.

At the bottom of the grid nearest our homes we typically have several houses sharing one local transformer that brings 12K volts down to 240/120. At the next level something like 30 to 50 of these local transformers share a single line pair, called a circuit, that connects to a large transformer at the sub-station.

We who have solar generally agree that our net exported power is usually consumed by our nearest neighbors on the same circuit. The flow of reverse power will not reach beyond the substation until the solar penetration is much higher than 5%. I believe some circuits in HI do reach this condition as they approach and exceed 20% solar participation.

Now that we all have smart meters that monitor the flow of power in both directions, it would be easy to group any subset of the the houses on one circuit into a virtual microgrid, and compute dynamically the net power flowing in or out of this micro gird.

SCE in their current NM 2.0 proposal suggests they are doing us a big favor by allowing us to consume our own generated power behind the meter at full retail credit. To not allow this seems very bad to me, but SD&G's proposal does prohibit this, proposing to buy our power at wholesale and sell it back at retail, even if it never leaves our house. My idea is to extend the SCE behind the meter concept to the virtual microgrid. Solar producers would sell their net export to their fellow micro gird owners who are importing power. The price would be perhaps 5 cents/kWh less than SCE retail, and this would be the incentive for non-solar owners to join the local microgrid, while solar generators would get a much better price than wholesale. The membership of the microgrid could be periodically adjusted to keep the mix of solar and non-solar customers balanced, so a minimum of power would be exported or imported from/to the microgrid.

Since members of the microgrid would be exchanging power among themselves using the local wiring and transformers, and SCE would be making no profit on this exchange, it would be fair for the microgrid members to pay a small monthly lease for their use of this local infrastructure, but this payment would be a flat fee and not proportional to the size of anyone's solar array. The lease would cover maintenance of this infrastructure.

Each member would see on their bill a mixture of power generated within the microgrid and power purchased from SCE, as well as payments made by SCE for net exported power.

I claim this arrangement would be completely fair to SCE owners outside the microgrid, with no hidden subsidies.
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Boomer23
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:29 pm

I like it!

Let's do it.
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Boomer23
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:33 pm

Very good news, I think, from the CPUC on their long awaited proposed decision on a successor NEM program for customers of the three large utilities.

http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/P ... 501053.doc

The proposal continues the use of NEM, which in my understanding continues the practice of reimbursing residential power generators at the retail rate for power sent to the grid, and it rejects the utilities' proposals to charge a per-kW monthly fee for installed generating capacity nor any grid access charges, demand fees or standby charges.

The proposal adds several provisions for customers who install after the end of the current NEM 1.0 period (July 1, 2017 or when each utility's installed residential solar percentage cap is reached, whichever is sooner).
A) A one-time interconnect fee, currently absorbed by the utility.
B) Adds small (2 to 3 cent/kWh) charges for "non-bypassable" fees that support baseline programs for low income customers, to be charged on all power used from the grid, not just on net power used per year after subtracting power sent to the grid.
C) Requires customers who interconnect new systems under the new program to go immediately on Time of Use rates rather than waiting until all customers go on TOU in 2019.

Final decision on the CPUC proposal will be made in late January after a period allowing comments from stakeholders.
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Valdemar
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:57 pm

Good, solar installers are probably celebrating.
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tbleakne
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:03 pm

While visiting friends near Tahoe for the holidays, we received news from Reno TV that Nevada PUC has issued a terrible ruling killing Net Metering for Nevada. The price paid for all exported power will be rolled back from retail to wholesale price over next 4 years. This begins Jan 1, 2016.
Nevada, in the top 4 states in terms of total sun exposure, has been playing catchup with 12K rooftop solar installations. The worst part of this decision is that it is rectoactive, with no grandfathering. People with PPA contracts will be losing money with every exported kWh. This will be a bad precedent that will encourage more attacks on Net Metering in other states. SolarCity has announced it is pulling out of NV, effective immediately.
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Boomer23
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:18 pm

Sad news indeed, tbleakne. I had read that the head of the Nevada PUC is an enemy of solar and that a decision like this was expected.

Tesla and other providers of residential battery storage systems will likely be staking out states like Nevada as ready markets. It's unfortunate that the battery systems are still expensive per kWh of storage, but that will improve given some time.
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tbleakne
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:32 pm

Yes, Boomer23, the decision was unaminous, and all 3 PUC members were appointed by current NV governor. Amazing, considering the solar jobs that will be lost vs the huge incentives given Tesla for the jobs at their Gigafactory.

One of the reports of this mentioned that HI also terminated Net Metering Oct 2015, which was news to me. In the HI decision, the fast track unlimited new option offers zero compensation, not even wholesale price, for exported power. HI wholesale prices are very high, about $.15/kWh, so zero means huge profits for the utility for the exported power.

These decisions will certainly encourage those who can afford it to off grid, even if it is not economic. This will be a powerful boost for the battery business, which will help EVs. However I fear this will enlarge the gap between the solar "haves" and have-nots. My earlier idea of being allowed to sell export power to your non-solar neighbors makes even more sense, vs zero from the utility. It would also allow non-solar folks to participate in savings and lower emissions from solar. I realize the utilities won't allow this without a fight.

Happy Holidays, everyone. A cold white Christmas for us here at Northstar, near Truckee and Tahoe. The full moon may appear later.
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Valdemar
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:52 am

Boomer23 wrote:Sad news indeed, tbleakne. I had read that the head of the Nevada PUC is an enemy of solar and that a decision like this was expected.

Tesla and other providers of residential battery storage systems will likely be staking out states like Nevada as ready markets. It's unfortunate that the battery systems are still expensive per kWh of storage, but that will improve given some time.
Smells like conspiracy to create demand for the Tesla Powerwall built at Gigafactory in NV.
'11 SL, totaled
-1CB@33k/21mo, -2CB@53k/33mo, -3CB@68k/41mo, -4CB(41.5AHr)@79k/49mo, -5CB(38.85AHr)@87.5k/54mo
-0CB(66.14AHr)@87.5k/54mo (BBB), -1CB(53.92Ahr)@140k/29mo,
51.1AHr, SOH 80%, 150k miles

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tbleakne
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:36 pm

A little more on the HI Net Metering roll-back. Unlike NV, all existing Net Metering for HI is grandfathered, but the new options are interesting for suggesting what the future might bring for the rest of us over time.

HI has the highest solar penetration of any state, so they are the bleeding edge. The high penetration is very understandable, with retail rates of $.30/kWh, and wholesale rates of about $.15/kWh, a consequence of generating most of their power from imported diesel fuel. Apparently the separate grid on each island is too small to justify coal generation, and for the quantities they need, diesel, being more energy dense, is cheaper to transport than coal. The utility publishes maps of the penetration. Here is Oahu DG (Distributed Generation) relative to first minimum load, and then maximum load, for each circuit of a few hundred customers. Notice the high ratios.

Image

Image

The utility is offering a "fast-track" option that will win quick approval, but which offers zero compensation for exported power. They realize this will not be popular without affordable batteries.

More interesting for the immediate future is their other option, which will pay the wholesale rate for each kWh exported to the grid, but this payment is capped at the level of the customer's total imported power for the month. Any additional production for the month is forfeited to the utility. To see how this works, suppose the customer is able to arrange for 1/3 of his or her consumption to occur during the daytime, behind the meter. The remaining 2/3 of his consumption will cost $.30 - $.15 = $.15/kWh, and building more solar won't help because you would just hit the cap sooner. So the best you could achieve is to reduce your retail bill by 2/3. You have the additional limitation that since you can't roll over credits to future months, you can't average out production across the seasons. This is probably more tolerable in HI than in most other states, since their seasons are mild. However, I would think there might well be some seasonal variation in cloud cover.

Of course an EV owner would charge the EV during the day behind the meter as much as possible. If the car is used for commuting, this would be possible only on weekends. In this case one could envision owning two LEAFs, and charging each at home on alternate days.
LEAF Ocean Blue SL, "100 % Electric" decals, Delivered June 3, 2011
Sold June 2014 27K miles, 18% capacity loss, 1 bar, 5.0 mi/kWh.
Solar 4.6 KW DC with both string and micro-inverters.

tbleakne
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Re: Official Southern California Edison thread

Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:09 pm

CPUC Approves sPilot EV Charging Program for SCE

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/art ... dison.html

1500 Level 2 EVSE to be installed at workplaces, campuses, recreational areas, and apartment complexes. Subsidy for purchase and installation of 25, 50, or 100%. Possible later expansion to 30K EV chargers after results of pilot program.

I am skeptical of the effectiveness of this initiative.
1. 1500 is not very many state-wide, but I guess its purpose is to collect data.
2. Most host candidates are extremely reluctant to give away electricity with unmetered EVSE.
3. Hosts would likewise be concerned about Metered EVSE such as Chargepoint, because they leave the host on the hook for the substantial monthly networking fee, which may or may not be covered by usage revenue.
4. EV drivers don't want to remain plugged in for long periods if they are paying by the hour.
5. Various utility customer advocate groups are hostile to spending any rate payer money on EV infrastructure, so they would fight the expansion.
LEAF Ocean Blue SL, "100 % Electric" decals, Delivered June 3, 2011
Sold June 2014 27K miles, 18% capacity loss, 1 bar, 5.0 mi/kWh.
Solar 4.6 KW DC with both string and micro-inverters.

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