Friday, June 14, 2013

Key Fact: Growing Amounts of Solar and Wind Are Operating During Summer Peak Demand Hours

You have undoubtedly heard repeatedly that wind and solar are "intermittent" resources and so supposedly do not contribute to meeting the annual peak electricity demands of the nation.

Unfortunately, for those clinging to the view that solar and wind cannot help meet peak power demands, the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation or NERC data shows otherwise.  In its 2013 Summer Reliability Report, NERC says at page 3: "solar and wind on peak capacity projections for this year are expected to be 2,298 megawatts and 11,753 megawatts respectively."

Moreover, the NERC generation data does not include now the thousands of megawatts of non-utility scale solar generation that is at homes and businesses.  This small scale generation will be operating during peak hours and will help to maintain grid reliability.

No doubt the rise of renewable energy and demand response programs makes the job of operating a grid more complex.  The grid today is more fuel diverse and has many more power sources and demand response programs than it did just 10 years ago.  But that diversity improves reliability!

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