With an all-source procurement, a utility solicits bids to identify the costs of solar, wind and storage, which can be “significantly less expensive than new gas,” as an Indiana utility found. A clean energy group calls for state regulators to require all-source procurements, for the vertically integrated utilities that serve half the country.
The partnership would pursue cost-effective solar projects that benefit ratepayers and provide “environmental justice and economic equity to the Navajo Nation,” after the city received power from the coal-burning Navajo Generating Station for decades—and paid less than fair value for coal, land leasing, and water, say advocates.
While an Arizona utility solicits bids for a 200 MW solar project within the Navajo Nation, the near-term potential is 10 GW, says Navajo Power CEO Brett Isaac.
Henderson, Kentucky’s municipal utility selected 50 MW of solar, which will provide 15% of its annual electricity. “In western Kentucky we do have a pretty good solar resource,” says the utility’s general manager.
Real-time pricing of electricity can help integrate renewables, reduce costly and polluting peak-period generation, and save customers money, the trade groups say. They call for California to make real-time pricing an option in the San Diego area.
Maryland is the fourth state to require that rooftop solar use smart inverters, to allow more solar on the grid. States aiming for high renewables should do likewise, says a consultancy. A looming question: will smart distributed resources be compensated for providing grid services?
“EIA’s projections greatly underestimate the growth of solar and significantly overestimate coal’s persistence in the energy mix,” says Dan Shugar, CEO of NEXTracker.
The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that a fixed fee for distributed solar customers violates state law. Vote Solar and Sierra Club brought the case, with representation from Earthjustice.
A $2.5 billion Midwestern HVDC transmission project to carry mostly wind power has gained major new investments, which help validate the technology. But an HVDC transmission project that would primarily drive more solar capacity is yet to be identified.
An Alabama industry association and citizens’ groups say regulators should reject Alabama Power’s request to build more gas capacity.
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