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OK.... I need someone A LOT smarter than me to explain this....

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    So..... my 'wonderful' utility has decided they need to charge me $0.036/kWh that I generate with solar. I do get net-metering (yay) but I only get paid ~$0.025/kWh for any monthly excess.

    Rate 59; Screwing people that have the audacity to generate their own power.

    Meanwhile... they've signed a PPA with Nextera energy to build a 70MW farm and Xcel is going to buy power from them for $0.04/kWh.

    So......... why is the excess electricity I generate worth $0.025/kWh but they're paying $0.04 for electricity from Nextera?

    Why doesn't Nextera have to pay $0.036/kWh that THEY produce? They're not building back up generators.... only solar.



    ???????

    58b60830d26ef5b1f63fd4edb732fe5c220cba41465f207836d5bf861c5ece40.jpg

    Nextera gets paid to generate electricity (must be nice)....
     
  2. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I think you must have forgotten to bribe the appropriate people...
     
  3. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Looks like solid math to me. :rolleyes:
     
  4. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    I think you will be surprised at the level of interest in solar from your ultra-conservative neighbors and that the battle in our sunniest states where the gouging is worst will very quickly tip the other way. Your utility is doing what utilities in corrupt states do, they're protecting their interest through illegal activity.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens as solar intrudes on the turf of these monopolies. In Germany the utilities instantly went from hundreds of millions in profits to negative because they have regulations to protect all rate payers. Our concern in the US is clearly much more for the utilities, so solar customers bear the burden......for now.
     
  5. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Get a PowerWall and don't sell-back the excess. In my mind, this is the cure for solar customers in these criminal states.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    The utilities are all trying to go this way, the only thing that will solve this in the end is things like the powerwall, eventually it will make more sense to go off-grid than to use the grid, which is unfortunate, but that's where we're headed.
     
  7. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    I don't see us in the US going to Powerwall in "normal" markets any time soon because it just doesn't make sense yet. If the grad can be managed rationally and the energy market is made even somewhat open on the wholesale side then solar will naturally thrive within the grid.

    Why start taking semi-drastic measures when solar is still at such a small percentage? Germany was hitting 50% solar at peak on sunny days all without storage and had no issues. The grid shouldn't be perceived as some private entity that we can't influence, it's supposed to be there as a PUBLIC utility. I think we'll come around to that very rapidly.
     
  8. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I just noticed that the web site Wholesale Solar has a relatively new page called Grid Assisted Solar Power Systems. This is really what you need in this situation, and what I've been saying is needed in areas that are not friendly to solar. The basic premise is that you need just enough battery to capture your mean daytime surplus so that you time-shift your own generation. You may have to let some solar go unused or minimally reimbursed from the utility in the summer, but you don't have to go crazy over-sized like you would to go completely off-grid. When the batteries get low in the evening or you solar generates very little due to weather, you just pull from the grid as needed. However, I think it would take some pretty advanced modeling to get an accurate idea of what the real return would be in this scenario. I like it just to counteract the utilities sticking it to solar customers. BTW, I don't care much for the lead acid batteries that Wholesale Solar bundles in their systems. Just the fact that they were addressing this use case was interesting to me.
     
  9. dgmanny

    dgmanny Member

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    The charges you are paying the utility are for the electrical infrastructure they need to maintain to provide you power when the sun isn't shining.
     
  10. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    ... So why is the power that Nextera only produces when the sun is shining worth $0.04/kWh but I have to pay them for the energy I produce? The point here is that it's absurd to base what I should pay on the energy I produce.

    I fully agree that I should help pay for the electrical infrastructure but to use my production as the basis for that payment is beyond absurd.
     
  11. dgmanny

    dgmanny Member

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    My only speculation is that the nextera PPA includes firm requirements to deliver power to the utility that they can count on. If nextera's plant goes down they have to pay penalties to the utility. It is also a large block of energy coming from a specific location on their grid that they can manage. In your case the utility can't count on your extra power. If you use more power In a month you may have no extra for the utility. Perhaps if there was a way for a residential user to commit to selling back a block of power, maybe the rate would be higher.
     
  12. Kbra

    Kbra Member

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    If NM is like most other states, they cant credit your solar power as part of their portfolio for carbon free or renewable energy. The solar farms however count. So that's one speculation why they would pay more for it. Just a thought.
     
  13. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I'm getting paid for RECs so NM is apparently not like other states....
     
  14. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    If your utility has hourly data available for download it's pretty straightforward to model in a spreadsheet. I just did something similar to see how the economics of a west facing 6kW setup would do with one of SCE's TOU plans. If I have the time tomorrow I'll see how well I can match up solar generation to my usage profile. My sense is that a reasonable combination of PV orientation, DIY demand management, a powerwall or few, and a backup genset would allow most people to cut the cord with similar costs unless they used a ton of electricity at night.
     
  15. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    My cynical answer to your question: NextEra could choose where to build its project and therefore demand a competitive price from your utility. You, by contrast, are a captive supplier facing a monopsonist. Your public utility commission is supposed to be protecting you, but most PUCs are really in the business of protecting the state's utilities, particular in places like NM that never adopted competitive wholesale electric markets.
     
  16. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I have done the utility analysis spreadsheet thing too for PG&E Tariffs. However, modeling an off-grid system where you have to follow all the historical generation and usage figures to estimate the battery SOC over time is something completely different. You also have to find when you would have an energy deficit and when you have over-production and where behavior modification would be useful to the system. Comparative efficiency between real time consumption versus round trip battery storage would also be significant.
     
  17. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    I think a substantial portion of that is doable. For example, a quick run indicates that my household would need to store roughly half of the energy we consumed last year to go off-grid, and a comparison between 6kW of PV facing West/East/South showed minimal differences in energy storage requirements. I confirmed that by looking at the maximum amount of energy I could shift to solar, which is at most ~15% of total consumption.

    On the flip side, by itemizing the stuff I need during nightly energy consumption, I can create a likely upper bound for nighttime use, which will given me a good idea of how much generation I can demand shift into the day to directly use electricity from solar panels instead of storing it or using it later. This will also provide me with the min/max/median storage requirements, and from that information I can make good ballpark estimates of how much battery storage I need.

    With that said, optimizing and implementing a system like that requires more than just a spreadsheet, it's still a very a good start IMO.
     
  18. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Interesting twist... Xcel is requesting a production fee rate increase to $0.043/kWh... so they'll be paying Nextera $0.041/kWh to generate electricity from solar... while charging me $0.043/kWh for generating electricity from solar.... you can't make this crap up.... *sigh*
     
  19. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    Yuck....

    If you used nat gas or propane for heat and could shift a decent amount of your load into the day I'd seriously consider going off grid with a powerwall or few.
     
  20. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    #20 TheTalkingMule, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    This is what happens when you move to one of these crazy states. Imagine the money that will be sucked out of these states as solar/wind really takes off and they're forced to buy renewable juice at wholesale from their neighbors. The 10 year economic impact of these policies in places like NV/NM/AZ will be massive as we decentralize.
     

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