The grid’s easy button

I read an article today that talked about “difficulty settings” in the game of life, which got me to thinking about how hard or easy it is to do anything. This being the DECA website, I got to thinking about how hard it is to get more distributed generation on the grid. One thing that frankly has gotten much, much easier is getting someone to set up a system at your house. The growth in the green economy has been significant enough that a homeowner has a really wide variety of choices for who can install a PV system on their roof. The same goes for financing that system. Where things get hard are larger distributed generation systems – these aren’t the kinds homeowners put on their roofs or in their backyard, but they’re not much bigger when compared to say a 2000 MW natural gas plant. To be certain the larger a distributed generation system the more potential there is that it can cause problems on the grid, but the process of what is called “interconnection” is certain to not give anyone the warm fuzzies. The other side of that coin is that the size of the switch that gets flipped with residential solar programs (as an example) is pretty big – things go relatively well until they don’t go at all. This is why issues like Net Energy Metering are so important for pro-distributed generation policy advocacy – you might have had no problem getting solar, but six months later your neighbor can’t get it at all. But maybe I’m wrong – if you’ve had bad experiences trying to interconnect a residential distributed generation system we’d like to hear about it – please sign up (if you haven’t already) and comment in our forums to let us know – we might not be able to do anything about something that’s happened in the past, but we’ll try and get involved if there’s an ongoing problem or at least make sure it’s fixed for your neighbor if we can.
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3 Comments

  1. AmyReardon
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    The CAISO has initiated a proceeding that will identify deliverability of DG resources under RA. I guess there will be maps showing available trannie capacity and nodes where constraints increase the value of DG. MAPS! Finally.

  2. lanat2000
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Aram, love this! What a great intro to the lay of the land in distributed solar. Net metering, interconnection, financing schemes… Would love you to expand on those ideas, so those not in the industry know how it impacts us.

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