donald
Posts: 917
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:45 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Jul 2013

IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utilities

Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:48 pm

FYI:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/gre ... revolution" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
LTLFTcomposite
Posts: 4780
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:06 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Central FL

Re: IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utili

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:36 pm

political libertarians, including some Tea Party members, tend to support net metering because it permits and encourages individuals to produce their own power
Just when you thought you had the labels all worked out...
LTL
White 2012 SV delivered 10 Dec 2011 returned 25 Nov 2014 replaced with stopgap ICE Sentra
[35 months] [35K miles] [9 Bars]
2013 Volt replaced after 36 months/30k miles with ICE Rogue
2016 SV-adjacent May 2016 lost 4th bar March 2018

GRA
Posts: 12310
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utili

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:55 pm

I expect if the utilities win this particular fight, it will just drive people completely off the grid. When I was designing and selling off-grid systems in the early nineties, my customers broke down into several categories. In descending order of interest (based on my totally unscientific classifications of my customers):

1. Greens/Homesteaders
2. Techies
3. Survivalists/Libertarians
4. Dope Growers (Unlike the case for AE companies in Humboldt and Mendocino counties, this made up a tiny proportion of my customers)

This can be compared with the usual four or five demographic groups into which EV buyers fall. As defined by the former VP marketing for Coda, they are:

1. Geeks (i.e. techies)
2. Greens
3. Gloaters (aka Firsties)
4. Grazers (CPA types who have calculated costs down to the last cent).

A fifth group is sometimes added, consisting, in essence, of Gen Y metrosexuals who are somewhat green, comfortable with tech but not fanatic about it, looking for a relatively low-cost means of getting around cities when walk/bike/transit won't do. This group, I expect, is the primary customer base for car-sharing. Another possible separate group is the National Security types, who tend to get lumped in with the Greens.

IME EV buyers skew more toward the tech than green groups compared to the off-grid types, but there's lots of overlap between the two. Tesla owners are more likely to skew in the Geeks/Gloaters group than owners of other BEVs, who tend to have a higher green component.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

AndyH
Posts: 6388
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utili

Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:46 pm

This has been going on for some time. We've talked about some of it here, but it's scattered around a number of threads.

This was a fun piece: Fox news discovers the Green Tea Party:


More background:

http://climatecrocks.com/2013/08/12/the ... coalition/

http://climatecrocks.com/2013/08/05/sol ... -way-soon/

http://climatecrocks.com/2013/09/07/col ... -survival/
"The stupid become extinct."-Bill Mollison
2018 Outlander PHEV
2015 smart Electric Drive (lease ended Feb, 2018)
OpenEVSE Plus DIY

User avatar
JeremyW
Posts: 1550
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:53 am
Delivery Date: 23 Jun 2012
Leaf Number: 19136
Location: San Gabriel, CA

Re: IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utili

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:14 pm

For example, in centralized markets, a utility can buy all of its power needs at the wholesale rate. This rate will always be less than the full retail rate it would have to pay to buy the same power from a customer.
This is not always the case. Wholesale prices can and do sometimes exceed what utilities charge customers. This was a major factor in the California electricity crisis of the early 2000's.

Net metering is a challenge, and probably is not sustainable in it's current form if say everyone that could have solar has an array. The spiraling effect of more people getting solar as rates increase due to the increase of solar is a serious issue that we are looking at. I believe we will go to a fixed infrastructure charge and TOU net-metering with super-on-peak starting near sunset. Get enough people with solar and high noon becomes off peak. :shock:

There's also been a massive build out of utility scale plants, with the CA ISO peak output around 2,800 MW as of yesterday. From just past 9am to about 4:30pm we get more power from utility solar plants than nuclear in California (Diablo Canyon, ~2,200MW). That will eventually increase to an hour after sunrise till an hour before sunset in short order.
Former 2012 SL leasee 6/23/12 - 9/23/15
Former Fit EV leasee.
Now driving Spark EV and Model 3.

User avatar
DaveEV
Posts: 6246
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:51 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utili

Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:18 am

JeremyW wrote:Net metering is a challenge, and probably is not sustainable in it's current form if say everyone that could have solar has an array. The spiraling effect of more people getting solar as rates increase due to the increase of solar is a serious issue that we are looking at. I believe we will go to a fixed infrastructure charge and TOU net-metering with super-on-peak starting near sunset. Get enough people with solar and high noon becomes off peak. :shock:
Yes, there obviously has to be some sort of cost associated with using the grid which I don't think most people are opposed to. The challenge comes when defining that cost, as most proposals utilities have had have not appeared very fair.

Currently there's a lot of value in producing power during daylight hours compared to night-time hours (at least after the 7-9pm evening peak). How much longer that will remain true with a large amount of solar hitting the grid? Hard to say.
JeremyW wrote:There's also been a massive build out of utility scale plants, with the CA ISO peak output around 2,800 MW as of yesterday. From just past 9am to about 4:30pm we get more power from utility solar plants than nuclear in California (Diablo Canyon, ~2,200MW). That will eventually increase to an hour after sunrise till an hour before sunset in short order.
Yeah, I noticed that there seems to be another 100 MW of solar added to the grid every month or so it seems lately. I expect that we'll see over 3 GW peak of utility scale solar online by the end of the year.

It's really interesting to watch at the CAISO "Today's Outlook" page which shows current / projected demand.

If you look at the charts, you can see the impact of distributed/net solar installs on grid demand as a flattening/dip in demand around solar noon (currently just before 1pm). That didn't use to happen a couple years ago!

Is there a way to look at current/historical wholesale market prices? It would be interesting to see how wholesale electricity prices have changed with all the renewables coming online.

I suspect all the renewable energy being bought because of the California RPS is a huge reason why Sempra decided to mothball SONGS nuclear plant instead of trying to fix it - I bet that wholesale peak pricing is getting cheaper and they project it to get a lot cheaper in the years to come thanks to all the solar coming online.

siai
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:53 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2012
Leaf Number: 17489
Location: Deland, Fl.

Re: IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utili

Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:14 pm

When I used to watch demand, the noon dip used to be because many small and medium sized shops (factories) shut down their machinery for lunch. The highest demand was just after lunch when they started back up tapering off until a big drop at 5:00. Then you would pick up a little as people got home from work and started dinner, turned on lights, A/C, TV's, etc. I don't think that it is as pronounced as it used to be as many of those small shops are gone---outsourced to the Pacific rim countries.

srl99
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:04 am
Delivery Date: 16 Aug 2012

Re: IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utili

Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:01 am

In NorCAL, (PG&E) which has some of the highest residential rates in the country, you can expect the utility to fight mightily NOT to buy power from small producers at full retail rates.

Their documented cost to acquire a kWH is 3c, why would they "pay" 31-56c to a small, casual (unreliable), producer?

User avatar
JeremyW
Posts: 1550
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:53 am
Delivery Date: 23 Jun 2012
Leaf Number: 19136
Location: San Gabriel, CA

Re: IEEE article;solar power 'counter-revolution' from utili

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:10 pm

siai wrote:When I used to watch demand, the noon dip used to be because many small and medium sized shops (factories) shut down their machinery for lunch. The highest demand was just after lunch when they started back up tapering off until a big drop at 5:00. Then you would pick up a little as people got home from work and started dinner, turned on lights, A/C, TV's, etc. I don't think that it is as pronounced as it used to be as many of those small shops are gone---outsourced to the Pacific rim countries.
This is correct. I wish it was caused by solar. I have worked two consecutive days where one was clear skies and the other hazy, and sure enough load was higher on the hazy day. The solar peak from "behind the meter" is probably more broad then that little dip and I'd imagine more systems are set up to be southwest facing, getting more of the afternoon sun. I would guess we (CA ISO) have about 2,000MW of behind the meter solar.

Note that co-gen is also a popular option for large commercial and industrial customers that which reduces load for all hours. Thermal storage for air conditioning (chilling water at night in a large thermos, essentially) is another way large customers are reducing peak demand.
Former 2012 SL leasee 6/23/12 - 9/23/15
Former Fit EV leasee.
Now driving Spark EV and Model 3.

Return to “Solar”