Key to Unlocking Clean Energy Grid of the Future
Mark Widmar is CEO of First Solar.
Lead image: At left, panelists Mike Jacobs of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Stacey Crowley of CAISO, and at right, Mahesh Morjaria and Eran Mahrer of First Solar, with panel moderator and PUF Editor-in-Chief Steve Mitnick in the center, at a First Solar-sponsored luncheon panel at the recent NARUC Summer Meeting.
Today's power grid is evolving. In recent years, a confluence of factors has fundamentally altered how electricity is generated, delivered, and consumed.
Prices for utility-scale solar and other renewable resources have plummeted to the point where they are the least-cost new resource for many utilities around the globe. At the same time, the proliferation of new technologies — everything from behind-the-meter solar projects to smart devices to electric vehicles — allows end consumers to interact with the grid in exciting new ways.
These advances have come with consequences; namely, significant changes in the load shape typically served by dispatchable generation resources. Nowhere has the need for modernization of grid-management approaches been more evident than in connection with the infamous duck curve.