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Decentralized solar causes overproduction and trades off with grid stability

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Decentralized solar causes overproduction and trades off with grid stability

Jansson and Michelfelder, 8 - *Associate Professor at Rowan University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering AND **assistant professor of finance at Rutgers University's School of Business (Peter and Richard, “Integrating Renewables into the U.S. Grid: Is It Sustainable?,” The Electricity Journal, July, science direct)
From utility economic and practical engineering perspectives, we have reached an impasse. Electric utilities are motivated by investors to provide real and growing returns on their capital investments and by state and national regulators to provide reliable electric power at the lowest costs to their consumers. Market-driven, independent power producers (IPPs) are motivated to develop projects that maximize shareholder value and minimize other investments that do not provide direct returns to their project investors. In today’s market-driven paradigm investing in major transmission facilities to increase reliability and new renewable generation technologies to achieve environmental responsibility goals will not provide high short-term financial performance for any of the major players. Also, since the utilities can no longer control where customers may site new generation sources, new capacity additions (in either generation or transmission) will not necessarily increase grid reliability. Present evidence suggests that U.S. grid reliability in the early 21st century may actually be degrading (Anderson and Boulanger, 2004; NERC, 2004) with the areas most affected by massive outages being those states that have most aggressively embraced industry restructuring (Jansson and Michelfelder, 2005). As we move to more decentralized, market-driven, power generation systems based upon intermittent renewable energy sources the strain on existing utility infrastructure will mount unless wise public policy direction is provided.

Overloads the entire grid

Rutgers News 8 (“Sustainable Energy Must Be Integrated Into Existing Power Grid, Says Rutgers–Camden Finance Scholar,” 11/18, http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/news-releases/2008/11/sustainable-energy-m-20081118/)
CAMDEN -- Engineers and entrepreneurs are rushing to explore alternative sources of efficient and renewable energy in New Jersey and elsewhere in the country. A Rutgers School of Business—Camden professor has strong words of caution as projects involving wind farms and photovoltaic cells proliferate. With the electric-power industry poised for its most dramatic changes in decades, too little thought is being devoted to coordinating these piecemeal initiatives, warns Richard Michelfelder in a recent edition of The Electricity Journal, the leading policy journal for the electric industry.¶ The consequence, he fears, might well be a disastrous overload of the nation’s electrical grid. An assistant professor of finance at the Rutgers School of Business—Camden and former president and CEO of Quantum Consulting Inc., a national public utilities consulting firm based in Berkeley, Cal., Michelfelder comes to his assessment after a quarter-century in the energy-technology industry.¶ “When you start adding random assets to the grid, you also add the possibility of disruptions in the coordination of the flow of electricity,” says Michelfelder.

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