Monday, February 27, 2012
This video is about ABB's Volt-VAr Management System (VVMS). The idea behind this system is to lower the load on the grid by adjusting voltage down to a minimum value. The following equation shows the relationship between power, voltage and current. The equation shows that when you lower voltage you also lower power.
Power = Current x Voltage
Voltage management is a great idea but I'm not sure ABB's product is the most cost-effective solution. The bigboys have made the argument that small PV systems cannot be cost effectively equipped with voltage management capabilities. Apparently, SMA didn't get the memo. My question is, why rent voltage control from the utility when it's cheaper to own it yourself?
Here's a price quote for a 12 kW PV system. With favorable financing conditions this 1502 Euro/kW system generates power for a tad under 10 ct/kWh.
It will be interesting to see if field arrays survive the coming round of FiT cuts. On one hand I'm rooting against solar farms because I don't think this solution is elegant or sustainable. On the other I'm rooting for them because it would be awesome if PV farmers could make money in cloudy Germany with a 13.5 ct/kWh feed in tariff. It would also be a hoot to watch the industry try to cover up the temper tantrum they're currently throwing over these new FiT rules. Holy cry me a river of wolves batman! But I must admit, I do enjoy good propaganda.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Wow... the EPIA finally came around.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Please don't open up public lands to solar developers. Every European country that has tried supporting solar farm development has subsequently revoked support. Why have farms lost support? Simple, solar farms bust subsidy budgets. This is why
The mega-solar crowd doesn’t promote their imagined future out of green righteousness – it’s pure greed. The public at large may currently support solar farm development but that’s only because they don’t yet understand all the hidden costs. Each new transmission project or upgrade that goes in to accommodate an extra gigawatt (GW) of solar farms will cost one to two billion dollars (See Sunrise Powerlink). Rate payer will be on the hook for these unnecessary transmission costs. Consider also that the above market Power Purchase Agreements associated with solar farms will cost rate payers another one to two billion dollars in extra electricity charges over the 20 year life of the PPA deal. Each GW of solar farm will also cost public coffers a front loaded 600 million to a billion dollars in lost tax receipts due to the 30% investment tax credit. Please don’t encourage this irresponsible waste of money. We shouldn’t be making it any easier to build these farms – we should be making it harder.
I’m a die hard pro-solar guy but I believe solar belongs on school rooftops, on homes, over box stores and throughout the community. When you develop solar locally it puts solar in the public’s eye and in the public’s mind – this leads to knock on adoption.
Again, I understand that the BLM has nothing but the best of intentions here but you’re playing with fire and the public is going to end up getting burned. Leave our wild lands be. Please don't open up public lands to solar developers.
The BLM will be taking public comments concerning the competitive leasing of public lands until February 27th. You can submit a comment here.