Utilities traditionally have met renewable portfolio standards with power purchases from IPPs. But new approaches are allowing utilities to build their rate bases with investments in solar...
Combined efforts bring mutual benefit.
will both benefit. Proactively seeking partnerships and collaborations will result in a grid well suited for our modern energy needs.
Electric power storage is another area of collaboration that could add to the effectiveness of renewables. Solar production frequently follows peak closely, but not always and not perfectly. So the ability to store the output of a solar plant to serve peak demands as well as to provide backup power significantly increases solar energy’s value to the utility. The development of storage technology solutions is yet another huge collaborative opportunity for the utility and solar industries.
Both the utility and solar industries are still far from reaching their goals, and we’ve still only scratched the surface on the potential of solar energy in the United States. As SEPA’s Utility Solar Business Models Phase II study shows, collaboration and business model innovation will be part of the solution.