15 Aug '11, 11am

It’s time to shed more light on solar’s potential

It’s time to shed more light on solar’s potential

Peak supply is also becoming a vexing problem because so much of the generating capacity added around the country lately is wind power, which is almost useless on the hot, still days when air conditioning drives up demand. PJM, which once stood for Pennsylvania, Jersey and Maryland, factors in such variability, counting a 100-megawatt wind farm as being worth only 13 megawatts on a peak summer day, for example. While over the course of a year the wind machines can contribute mightily to kilowatt hours produced, they do much of their production on windy winter nights, according to experts at PJM and other grid organizations. "This heat wave shows that you can't rely on a massive amount of wind generation to fill the void," Pat Hemlepp, a spokesman for American Electric Power, wrote in an e-mail. "That's why we are extremely concerned about reliability."

Full article: http://www.grist.org/solar-power/2011-08-15-its-time-to-s...

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