It is important for people across the globe to consider where their power comes from. California has certainly found itself in the news recently regarding this concept, with the announcement that three natural gas power plants would be phased out by Department of Water and Power in an effort to move toward 100 percent renewable #energy sources.
Mayor Eric Garcetti stated that there is a responsibility to end dependency on fossil fuels and prioritize renewable energy sources (such as #solar). But now, the question is – how does this happen? How do we prioritize clean energy/solar energy?
A Virtual #Solar Power Plant: Is This The Answer We Need?
#Sunrun, a renowned provider of residential solar power, recently released a report regarding the deployment of residential solar panels and batteries, essentially forming a virtual solar power plant. The company believes that its clean energy target can actually be increased with a utility-run virtual power plant.
According to the chief executive and co-founder of Sunrun, Lynn Jurich, #rooftop solar and storage could be utilized to retire at least one of the aforementioned gas plants by 2030. Moreover, in comparison to new gas plant capacity, a virtual solar power plant could end up saving close to $60 million.
Consistent with Sunrun’s report, #Los Angeles has 36,000 homes that have rooftop solar – this number might seem high, but viewing it as a percentage is underwhelming – it equates to just 2.5 percent of residential customers. For the record, 36,000 homes translates to roughly 182 megawatts of residential rooftop solar.
On the other hand, San Diego is at closer to 11 percent, which equates to 139,000 residential property owners having rooftop solar units.
Batteries – Eliminating Concerns With Solar
Enough power could be provided to replace a natural gas power plant if the total for Los Angeles were to be expanded to 75,000 homes and apartment complexes with batteries. Using batteries would help with concerns customers might have about solar. Some worry that a backup source would be needed on days with minimal sunshine when considering the use of solar power.
A virtual power plant would encounter yet another concern many have regarding residential solar power. They might be apprehensive that the upfront cost is too high. But because one would contract with the utility, they would have a usable credit.
Sunrun wants to promote solar power. Engineer #Bill Powers in San Diego, who works as a witness in the best interests of customers before utility regulators, discussed how what Sunrun wants to do is entirely feasible. His belief is that it would be straightforward to make this shift from a cost and technological viewpoint.
Powers discussed an issue – that it is completely contrary to the method in which utilities which are investor-owned and publicly owned have earned money in the past. However, he stated that large-scale solar power in Los Angeles could serve as a model for other cities, to include San Francisco.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power commissioner, #Aura Vasquez, believes rooftop solar power will become a cost-effective, large source of power in the future. She discussed excitement surrounding the concept of it.
Back in 2015, you might have seen the Sustainable City Plan. In this plan, the city of Los Angeles set a target of up to 1500 MW of installed solar by the year 2025. Clearly, there is a commitment to using renewable energy sources, and this is something other cities should certainly pay attention to.
Continue following solar news to learn about the latest advancements and concepts coming to light in popular places such as Los Angeles. Have you seen solar panels going up on rooftops where you live? Many neighborhoods are beginning to see signage popping up all over the place for solar panels. When you read about the difference that going solar/using clean energy sources can make, it is easy to see why a shift is occurring. It looks as though Los Angeles is making moves in a positive direction. Perhaps a virtual solar power plant is the answer the city needs to look at in its effort to go green.