You too can model solar, wind and storage deployment

NREL has made its capacity planning model freely available for anyone to use. The model can optimize the amounts of solar, wind and storage to be added to the U.S. electric grid. Documentation is included, but a powerful computer and additional software are required.

SEIA aims for solar installations to grow 18% per year through 2030

SEIA worked with 100 leaders in the solar and storage industries to develop a 12-year strategic plan, which covers all the bases. Yet funding is inadequate to pursue all strategies immediately, so some strategies must wait.

Talking up a rapid renewables transition will get us there faster

Two potentially “self-fulfilling” energy transition narratives are in competition, says a World Economic Forum report. Only one, the “rapid narrative,” would help us limit global warming to the Paris Agreement goal of “well below two degrees Celsius.”

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Gas favored over solar as Memphis utility considers TVA exit

Memphis is studying the potential to save money by exiting its contract with TVA. At issue is how much solar and storage to include in any new generating portfolio.

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States could save consumers billions with solar, by requiring transparent utility modeling

Utilities routinely make modeling choices that disadvantage low-cost solar in their 15- or 20-year resource plans. With transparent modeling, states and intervenors could easily see those biased choices. And if they also have access to the same model used by the utility, they can fix those errors by running the model themselves, as recommended by a modeling expert. Considering all states, billions of dollars are at stake.

SEIA shreds DTE Energy’s resource plan

2 GW more solar in the near term would save DTE’s Michigan customers $100 million. DTE proposes only 11 MW of near-term solar, or less than one percent of the optimal amount.

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Arizona’s potential to develop unbiased 15-year resource plans is up for grabs

An Arizona regulator has advocated for using a modeling tool being developed by Arizona State University, to help the state plan how to phase in more renewable energy. Yet the university’s initial plan for the modeling tool would not serve that purpose well.

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A household-scale virtual power plant has arrived

Aiming for 70% clean energy by 2030, Colorado’s Holy Cross Energy is piloting a household-scale virtual power plant technology that will help integrate more rooftop solar and storage. A device in each home optimizes provision of power to the grid, as well as grid services.

Sunrun opposes utility plan to control all new distributed energy resources

A regulatory proceeding raises issues of monopoly control; whether distributed resources will be compensated for providing grid services; and the capability of smart inverters to operate autonomously, without external controls, in response to signals on price, voltage and frequency.

Federal PV cost projections spin gold into straw

The same report that expects utility-scale PV costs to fall 54% from 2017 to 2021 also presents a constant-cost scenario from 2018 onward, on an equal footing with the “mid” and “low” cost scenarios. Utilities could be tempted to use the constant (high) cost scenario in their resource plans, and thus plan little or no added solar.

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