TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

How viable is Solar City's distributed solar concept?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Stimyg, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Stimyg

    Stimyg Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    New York
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,754
    Location:
    Texas
    If you have 15% of an area's power coming from non-grid sources, it results in the grid being less stressed and upgrades to the grid will happen less frequently. However, the cost of individual generation is higher per kWh than at a centrally located facility. (That is the true cost assuming zero subsidies). A better approach, in my opinion, is a neighbourhood wind power facility. This is done in Europe and is generally wind powered although solar is catching up. This scales the production up so there are some economies of scale and reduces transmission costs. It's also relatively cheap to build. A neighbourhood generation station will cost less to build per kWh generated than 200 or 300 individual installations, although it will still be far more expensive than a sensible nuclear plant.
     
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,754
    Location:
    Texas
    This assumes that the now privatized utilities would actually use the extra funds to modernize the grid rather than just taking the money and using the existing infrastructure as a cash cow. I don't count on privatized utilities doing anything but raising rates and lowering service.
     
  5. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    Jerry, I'm puzzled by your term "privatized utility." Thomas Edison created the first electric utility in New York City as a private company subject to government regulation. That basic model hasn't changed in 140 years. You are right to have a skeptical POV on utilities, but your post suggests that something has changed in your lifetime.
     
  6. Tim

    Tim Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    This article is FUD. Regulated utilities negotiate their capex for line extensions/upgrades/rebuild every couple of years. Their cash-flow is predetermined. Fitch is basically complaining that a large increase in net metering could eventually cause a power surplus in localized areas and a higher burden on utilities due to lower utilization of power plants. Maybe, but I don't buy it. Apparently neither do the electric commissions in the states quoted. I'm not sure about net-metering in all states, but I certainly don't use the grid for free. I pay interconnection fees the same as anyone else. In any event the power industry in the u.s. has a bunch of soon to be obsolete coal plants so maybe this isn't so much a problem as it is a solution.

     
  7. Ampster

    Ampster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    614
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    I won't try to interpret what Jerry meant, but I can tell you that the public utility regulations were significantly changed in California in the last 20 years. SCE sold off some of their generating capacity,
     
  8. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,754
    Location:
    Texas
    I should have said deregulated rather than privatized. My bad choice of wording there.
     
  9. Ampster

    Ampster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    614
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    I may be using the grid "for free" but I am also providing a service because I am generating during peak hours and consuming during off peak. In California the annual "true up" is at wholesale rates so SCE benefits as well.
     

Share This Page