05 Jan '12, 9pm

Cost of Big PV to the Grid: $3 to $8 per Megawatt-Hour: There’s a real minute-to-minute cost to the grid when

Cost of Big PV to the Grid: $3 to $8 per Megawatt-Hour: There’s a real minute-to-minute cost to the grid when

There’s a real minute-to-minute cost to the grid when it comes to handling lots of solar power on partly cloudy days. Out in the Nevada desert, it adds up to about $3 to $8 per megawatt-hour. Those are the numbers churned out of a Department of Energy-backed project with Las Vegas-area utility NV Energy and Navigant Consulting , based on a computer model simulating 10 different scenarios for solar PV systems at both rooftop and utility scales. Turns out that 150 to 1,000 megawatts of intermittent PV penetration requires a lot of fossil fuel-fired backup generators to help smooth it out on cloudy days -- and that costs utilities money. Take this snapshot of two days' worth of minute-by-minute simulation of weather patterns and insolation using data from 2007, which is NV Energy’s record peak year of power use. The sunny days are a smooth, easy-to-predict rise and fall, allo...

Full article: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/cost-of-big-p...

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