Susan Kraemer's Comments

February 13, 2014

Go-Time for Solar CSP: Ivanpah, Crescent Dunes Switch On

What very nice reporting. It was frustrating to read reports that were clearly inconsistent; that Ivanpah WAS on, but that it WASN'T powering the grid as you'd expect.

Now the mystery is solved.

November 02, 2013

US Solar Surge: Flipping Switches on a Hoover Dam of Utility-scale Concentrated Solar Power

Stan, Kevin Smith told me that SolarReserve can deliver dispatchable power at 100% of capacity, as can any other CSP with storage. You misread if you thought he was referring to CSP without storage.

An interview I had with a California utility buyer of solar from SEGS last year uncovered the fact that old CSP from the old SEGS plant in California IS selling now at around 6 cents, so various comment estimates for costs are way off, as are their estimates of how much parasitic load takes. It's only a percent or two of a 300 MW project to run trackers and lights, and sometimes they buy that directly from the grid, as a cost of business. I spoke to the buyer for SCE for the article:

July 01, 2013

California’s Invisible Solar Problem

Yes, William, you are right that the SREC states like New Jersey are not adopting this software as fast as California, Arizona, etc, and nor are their PUCs getting involved in getting it developed like the CPUC, which suggests to me that it is not as big an issue for their grid operators. And that the reason is that the SREC auctions must need that accurate info on distributed generation.

July 02, 2013

California’s Invisible Solar Problem

My impression from these interviews was that this as an insoluble problem at all. Germany's example is instructive. They simply require smart inverters and have done since January 2012 on all new DG installations, and since they have also retrofitted all the earlier DG installations; they are getting all of the generation data on everything generating, large and small.

These smart inverters provide the same data as the utility-scale inverters do for the grid, and as Gerber pointed out, they could well lead to an income source for us rooftop solar owners: we could be selling actual kilovars of voltage regulation, as well as our kilowatts of raw power.

June 02, 2013

US Now Most Attractive Market for Renewable Energy, Finds Ernst & Young

I'd love this to be true, but Earnst & Young is making a basic error in assuming that because President Obama supports a permanent PTC, that it will happen. Congress is controlled by a party bitterly opposed to renewables, with a legitimate elected majority in the House, and de facto majority in the Senate, and congress has control over legislation, not presidents. Gerrymandering makes it almost impossible for Democrats to win back the House majority in the near future, and it only takes 40 Republicans to control the 100 seat Senate, and and so the PTC is precariously in danger of expiring at the end of this year, just as it was last year. What Obama can do he has done, raise fuel standards, use executive orders to mandate high percents of renewables by the DOD, use EPA wisely, etc. But simply expressing a desire to extend the PTC has no effect.

February 11, 2010

Cleantech To Benefit from Jobs Bill, Not Climate Bill

You could not be more mistaken. The Energy only bill will provide only $3 billion a year for clean energy, (and $5 billion a year for nuke energy, $5 billion a year for oil). Its CBO score has been hidden from the American people by a compliant media since September.

I uncovered it and wrote it up at cleantechnica:

Its Renewable Energy Standard is weaker than the RES in CEJAPA the comprehensive energy and climate bill, and includes feeble penalties for non compliance.
CEJAPA has a strong well written RES and it includes cap+trade to fund a serious jump -start for renewable energy in this country of over $800 billion by 2020.

February 07, 2010

Crafting National Standards

A national RES absolutely IS the way to go. Every state has SOME kind of renewable energy potential, and the RES proposed in CEJAPA does not pick what kind of RE, only that the renewable goal be met.

There are 24 states with mandated (accountable if fail to meet) standards. 5 more have "aspirational goals" (unmet) The states with mandates have lowered their ghgs already. The states that don't have a RES are the ones dragging the US down: (Wyoming, Virginia, Indiana, North Dakota and Tennessee (or Kentucky) with 90% coal.

May 06, 2009

The Local Feed-in Tariff Solution

"CCA organizations may implement CCA initially as a way to incentivize the development of 100-500 kilowatt solar systems on rooftops and parking lots. They can do this by buying this power from private developers under a local feed-in tariff, and using this power to meet their own needs."

I am not clear on what you mean. Do you mean that the FIT whereby PG&E pays something like $0.13 cents/kwh to producers of power can be turned around so a CCA would pay for the power instead of PG&E?

Could you lay this out in detail, step by step, how a group of people could use a CCA to make their own power and earn enough money doing it to make it cheaper or even (gasp) actually profitable to make their own power.

May 06, 2009

The Local Feed-in Tariff Solution

to marcus-maedl-73315

I also did a calculation for a client interested in selling to PG&E under the FIT who already owned the roof space needed, and had the capital to invest; so no loan cost.

By my calculation in his case there was an 8% return on investment even with the current rates ( but if you had to buy or lease land or roofs, it would not be the same rate of return.)

In this case, A $589,000 solar system rated at 88 KW AC per the CEC AC rating on the CSI-EPBB site (105 KW DC STC) would generate $47,457 in income a year - or an 8% return.

But you are right that the FIT needs to be better. I too would love to see a better rate than the $.13 cents average FIT payments, enough so that anyone could easily see the advantages and we could have a solar adoption rate like Germany or Spain.

May 08, 2009

The Local Feed-in Tariff Solution

Thanks Tam,

But I'd rather that you lay out all the CCA details publicly in another post. Especially if you have a detailed example of how some group actrually pulled it off successfully.

Because everyone needs to see any possible ways to make solar adoption easier. So if you can find a way, lets ALL hear about it.

I had no idea about this CCA legislation, for example. It needs to be aired more.

Marcus, ok , I will do that. I may have made a mistake in my spreadsheet, so would like a double check.

BTW You keep mentioning $0.13 cents; but I used all the different prices PG&E paid for all the different times/ weekdays holidays, summer, winter spring for every hour of sun, in my spreadsheet - all different prices. Are you averaging them?

Susan Kraemer

Susan Kraemer

Susan Kraemer reports on renewable energy for CSP Today, Wind Energy Update, PV Insider and Renewable Energy World, and has written about renewables for Cleantechnica, Green Prophet and other sites.

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