Grid Scale, Solar, Storage

Solar Power Safeguard Against Power Loss

Blackout 2003 demonstrated the vulnerabilities in a central generating plant, above ground poles and wire transmission, and distribution grids. Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) Ovonics, a developer of alternative energy solutions, blames the flaws of the current grid model include little or no provision for alternative and renewable energy solutions that are available today to improve the reliability of the power system.

Rochester Mills, Michigan, September 4, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The company says there exist viable solutions to mitigate future economic disasters such as Blackout 2003 if the government and key industry participants focus on creating a roadmap to reduce the nation’s dependency on the power grid. “There is no economic or technological reason for traffic lights to fail, for diesel generators to be the only option during an emergency, and for Cleveland’s entire water system to be disabled,” said James Metzger, ECD Ovonics’ Chief Operating Officer. “It’s a matter of reducing the nation’s sole dependence on the grid. Spending billions of dollars to add more capacity to the grid will not prevent future blackouts and huge financial losses again in the future. There are renewable energy options that can be put in place quickly to mitigate disasters like the blackout and, eventually, remove significant pressure from the grid.” According to ECD Ovonics, hundreds of billions of dollars will be required to adequately update the current power grid model; yet employing alternative and renewable energy solutions available today would cost-effectively reduce the capital required for those upgrades. Both the technology and the products exist to provide networks of “stand-alone” solutions that can serve as uninterrupted power supplies or as primary sources of power. ECD Ovonics stated that the renewables industry has solutions for many of these problems. The company maintains that the problems could easily be addressed if the roofs on homes and commercial industrial buildings were using aesthetically pleasing shingles and integrated photovoltaic roofing as well as batteries and solid hydrogen storage systems so that one can have an autonomous distributed power system independent of any grid interruption. Solar Power, according to ECD Ovonics, is one of the best real-world examples available of an integrated solution available today. It can be stored in nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, which can be used to operate traffic lights, water and gas pumps, or bridge tolls.