Investor-Owned Utilities: Challenges to Profiting from PV Solar
Washington, D.C. (Vocus) July 6, 2009
Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is pleased to announce the Monthly Webinar schedule for the second half of 2009. These live monthly events provide key industry insight and are one of the outreach tools which make SEPA the go-to resource for business-critical networking and unbiased, comprehensive analysis of the issues and opportunities associated with making solar practical. The easy to attend, one hour mid-day online events (2:00 PM ET) are followed by a facilitated dialogue and Q&A. They feature solar and utility experts presenting information on topics relevant to both utilities and the solar industry, and arm participants with the actionable intelligence to best capitalize on renewable energy investments. The Monthly Webinars are free to SEPA members and qualified media;* the cost for non-members is $125 (unless noted). Online registration is available. They are also recorded and archived for future member's access or purchase by non-members. For more information: http://www.solarelectricpower.org.
July 16 "Quantifying PV Power Output Variability"
Photovoltaic (PV) technologies have an inherent performance variability, one which can change rapidly in response to changing weather conditions. Integrating PV, whether for a fleet of distributed systems or centralized utility-scale power plants, is an issue of common concern for utilities and grid operators as they look to the future growth and expansion of the solar industry. This webinar will present the results of a new statistical model and study for quantifying and assessing PV performance variability (download draft report). The model provides a framework for calculating this performance risk and shows that increasing the number of PV systems and/or changing the PV field design configuration relative to prevailing wind patterns can significantly reduce it. Join us for this grid integration study and help provide feedback to the authors for refining it. (Note: A copy of the study will be provided to registered attendees prior to the webinar.)
August 13 "Installing PV on a Networked Grid"
Con Edison, New York's electric delivery company, has recently connected several large net-metered commercial PV systems to their secondary network distribution grids, which are most commonly found in urban areas and act as redundant back-ups for critical buildings. NREL recently release a report on these types of systems, co-authored with three utilities (download report). These PV installations are notable for their size (20 to 50 kW DC) and ability to send unused power back to the electrical network grid operated by Con Edison. The phone seminar will provide information on this project as well as taking a look at how it sets a precedent for future solar installations in New York City and around the country, where utility interconnectivity issues have limited the installation of commercial PV systems on network grids.
September 15 "Feed-in Tariff Design: Lessons Learned"
Feed-in tariffs (FITs) are emerging as an alternative to cash rebate programs for a variety of reasons. As SEPA recently learned on a fact-finding mission to Spain, they can significantly expand a market rapidly, but at the same time cause problems or concerns depending on their structure. Many of these programs have then adjusted their approach after the initial roll-out in both minor and major ways. This webinar will feature perspectives from Ed Regan of Gainesville Regional Utilities, a Florida utility that gained significant attention with the start of their FIT program, and Julia Hamm, SEPA's Executive Director, who traveled to Spain and learned about the boom and bust cycle that occurred there. Attend this webinar as our speakers answer the question, "What should you do differently?"
October 1 "Investor-Owned Utilities: Challenges to Profiting from PV Solar"
This seminar will help participants understand the combination of regulatory, accounting, and legal challenges that conspire to make utility profits from PV programs difficult to achieve. Participants will also understand some of the regulatory and legislative strategies they can employ to help manage these challenges. Topics covered will include 1) PURPA, Renewable Energy Standards, and implications for regulated generation owners; 2) Challenges to cost-effective regulated utility ownership of PV relative to independents; 3) Legislative and regulatory strategies utilities can consider to address these challenges and grow the PV market.
November 12 "Lana'i: An Inside Look at the World's Most Advanced Renewable Energy Micro Grid"
La Ola, Hawaii's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) farm and Micro-Grid on the island of Lana'i is expected to produce enough solar energy to supply up to 30 percent of the island's electric demand. The 1.2 megawatt (MW) solar PV installation sits on a 10 acre site and is the first photovoltaic power plant to be controlled remotely by a utility, Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (MECO). This presentation will provide an inside look at innovative design and hardware elements that have enabled Maui Electric to deploy a stable and highly controllable Micro Grid solution built on a framework of solar energy production. The speakers will highlight the key factors for successful Solar based Micro-Grid solutions including integrated battery storage, addressing the challenges of intermittency, and the advanced monitoring and control features required to remotely operate a stable and dispatchable solar micro-grid.
December 10 "Solar Electric Vision Study"
The solar industry has the potential to move from being a relatively minor part of the U.S. electricity system to becoming energy significant during the next couple of decades. At this juncture in the evolution of the U.S. solar industry, there is a critical need to develop a long-term strategic vision in terms of technology, markets and policy. Key questions that need to be answered include: how fast can the industry grow, what are the challenges in meeting aggressive growth targets, and what are the benefits in terms of energy production, environment, jobs, etc.? The U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technology Program launched a Solar Electric Vision Study in mid-2009 to look at what levels of solar adoption could occur by 2030 and what the implications might be for these high penetration levels and SEPA's webinar will be one of the first unveilings of the results.
*Membership and Media status subject to verification. Consulting firms do not qualify as media.
For more information about SEPA Monthly Webinars, including topic or speaker suggestions, please contact Stuart Raper, sraper @ solarelectricpower.org, 202-559-2038
For more information about other SEPA educational outreach programs such as national conferences, monthly phone seminars, reports and white papers, regional workshops and networking receptions, please visit the SEPA website or email: info @ solarelectricpower.org.
About the Solar Electric Power Association: SEPA is comprised of over 560 utilities and solar industry members. From national events to one-on-one counseling, SEPA is the go-to resource for unbiased and actionable solar intelligence. Breaking down information overload into business reality, SEPA takes the time and risk out of implementing solar business plans and helps turn new technologies into new opportunities. http://www.solarelectricpower.org.