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Grid Resiliency: How Solar Helps the Power Grid
August 23, 2019
In this week’s livestream, Patrick and Andrew will be diving into grid resiliency and how solar helps the power grid. As we know, renewable energy is cleaner and can save homeowners thousands on their electric bills. In today’s livestream, we’ll learn about hybrid solar panel systems and how it can benefit any homeowner during events such as power outages. Read on to learn more!
The History of Power Outages in the U.S.
The U.S. is the second largest energy consumer in the world. The country currently connects more than 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines all across the country. Though it ranks second in the largest consumer of energy, the country has had numerous power outages. What exactly is the source of the country’s outages? Severe weather. An Eaton study reported that 36.7 million people were affected by 3,526 power outages in 2017. Unfortunately, outages are quite common due to the aforementioned reasons including an aging power grid infrastructure.
What is grid resiliency?
It’s unimaginable to think of the U.S. without its accessibility to electricity. Many people and businesses depend and rely on electricity day-to-day so it’s important the infrastructure is strong enough to support the great demand. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NREC) defines grid resiliency or grid reliability as grid adequacy and grid security. What this means is that the power grid should be strong enough to generate ample energy to support its growing demand and should be stable enough to endure any challenges. Renewable energy such as solar energy can help generate reliable energy that does not depend on fossil fuels and imported fuels.
How does renewable energy build grid resiliency?
Renewable energy can diversify energy sources and given its nature, it’s a different type of energy source which contributes to energy flexibility. With distributed energy resources (DERs) and the numerous locations of smaller generation facilities, if one of these smaller facilities fail, it isn’t nearly as high of a percentage of the overall system. During an outage, demand for electricity increases as does the level of stress on the grid. As the U.S. continues to increase its solar capacity, homeowners can produce their own energy and we can foresee a decrease in demand on electricity on a micro-level.
Solar and Storage: Your Emergency Backup System
During an event such as a power outage, the most reliable way to ensure you can still consume energy is with a hybrid solar panel system. Hybrid solar panel systems combine both a photovoltaic solar panel array system that is connected to the grid along with a solar battery that can store energy for later use. A solar system can provide you with energy during the day when the sun is shining and simultaneously charge your solar battery to store excess energy to be used during times of need.
Energy storage is very important in any grid with renewables. It meets supply and demand given its flexibility to put and remove energy on the grid and matches the amount of energy needed to what is produced. Though this gives homeowners more autonomy from the grid in the event of outages, we always recommend to operate conservatively and be mindful of your energy consumption.
Are you located in an area with frequent power outages? Or maybe you would like to become more energy independent and rely less on the grid. Speak to one of our Energy Advisors to learn about your solar and battery storage options today. From now until September, we’re rewarding those who refer their friends to go solar through our solar marketplace. For every friend you refer, you both will receive $599.