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Question

PGE estimates 25% of peak demand will be met by distributed resources by 2030. Do you agree?

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  • Oct 19, 2021
  • 442 views

I was recently reading Portland General Electric's release about its future generation mix, and the following quote caught my eye: 

By 2030, PGE estimates as much as 25% of the power needed on the hottest and coldest of days could come from customers and distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles.

Do you think that's a realistic timeframe and expectation? Is your utility operating under similar expectations-- or even more aggressive estimates on distributed generation / storage? Or do you see central generation as continuing to play it's dominant role through the end of the decade?

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Yes, it could be reached .

Solar and wind are becoming popular. Given their intermittency they must be associated with a corresponding increase in firm power that can be dispatched as needed, when it is needed. So it depends on how one calculates this 25% percentage.  
My guess is: close attention should be taken when looking at "installed capacity" (IC) and "peak demand" (PD) - the trend for the metric  IC/PD will increase and accordingly its CAPEX (capital expenditures) amortization per MWh delivered.

 

If the night of the coldest day of the year is counting on solar, that won’t work.  And, in anticipation of a coldest day, the stationary and mobile(EV) batteries would need to be fully charged from “other-than solar“ generation resources like gas, hydro, utility-scale wind and nuclear.  

 

If the hottest days of the year bring bright sunshine with high roof-top and utility-scale solar outputs, 25% of system peak is challenging, but achievable especially with a well-run investor owned utility like Portland General.

Do you think [25% electricity from distributed energy resources by 2030] is a realistic timeframe and expectation?

 

I hope not. In California, most new distributed generation is coming not from solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles, but diesel generators.
 

"Total diesel capacity in California is now big enough to power 15 percent of the state's electric grid, which has about an 80-GW capacity."

 

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