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Let's Discuss Smart Choices for State's Considering Solar Green Energy Laws

Mark Holmes's picture
CEO Mark Holmes LLC
  • Member since 2021
  • 2 items added with 276 views
  • Apr 12, 2021
  • 276 views

Many States have passed and while others are considering new green energy mandates.  While many of these new green energy laws have been created for most of the more progressive states, unintended consequences have developed because the full equation of green energy was not considered by lawmakers.  The full equation for green energy is energy storage, (where and how to store excess green energy being produced while the sun is shining or the wind is blowing).  Without energy storage, the excess energy needs to go somewhere of which it gets dumped on the transmission grid causing issues for this aged system.  Right now, Arizona gets to reap these benefits and during certain times gets paid by California to take its excess green energy.  However, Arizona power customers doe not see any benefit from this as the power industry in Arizona gets their annual rate increases.  Therefore the power utility in Arizona is only beneficiary.  The big loser in this equation is our aged transmission infrastructure and states not able to store excess energy when it is being produced.

I was part of a proposed project in Arizona that was proposing to construct a $5.5 Billion 2,000 MW energy storage facility near Seligman Arizona at Picacho Butte.  This was a traditional energy storage facility using an upper and lower reservoir to store energy in water in the upper which would turn on at night for 10 hours and pump water up to the upper reservoir all day when there was excess peak energy.  See video from ITC proposed project.

There needs to be a better discussion between energy generators (especially green energy), transmission companies (our Grid), and state lawmakers to address this issue and ensure there is a safe, environmentally friendly, energy storage systems on the grid that can better manage this paradigm shift to green energy laws and projects.  This will have significant importance with President Biden's Infrastructure Bill is passed.

Let's start this conversation with our state lawmakers and power companies.

I look forward to hearing your feedback.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Apr 12, 2021

There needs to be a better discussion between energy generators (especially green energy), transmission companies (our Grid), and state lawmakers to address this issue and ensure there is a safe, environmentally friendly, energy storage systems on the grid that can better manage this paradigm shift to green energy laws and projects

This is undoubtedly true, but still seems like a hurdle. Do you think these different stakeholders are stuck in thinking of each other as an alternate end of the tug of war rather than potential partner? 

Mark Holmes's picture
Mark Holmes on Apr 12, 2021

Thank you for your comments Matt.  While I agree these stakeholders are stuck in traditional thinking and paradigm traps that deter realized partnerships.  What is needed is a champion leader (respected by all stakeholders either within a state, region or at the national level) to get the right stakeholders all in the room and start having a meaningful discussion.  The room needs to have safe-discussion protocols and mutual respect.  I would liken this to what Arizona accomplished with the Indian Water Settlements Act accomplished by US Senator Kyl.  Senator Kyl was the leader that brokered amazing water settlements between diverse stakeholders and created the win-win scenarios.  Energy, like water, is a resource that has had an amazing trajectory change through technology, public acceptance, home generation, sustainability, rate impacts, and value assessments of production.  Who would be the accepted public leader and how do we convince her/him to accept this challenge and find the right financial supporters or granting options to invest in this activity and move it forward. 

I presume there are electric utility conferences and seminars through each year for all levels of the electric industry as are in my field of water.  Possibly approaching the Council of the most supported and accepted regional or national electric utility organizations and see if this is something they could provide the venue for and support to find the leadership and funding to move things forward.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Apr 12, 2021

"The full equation for green energy is energy storage, (where and how to store excess green energy being produced while the sun is shining or the wind is blowing). "

Mark, have you worked through the numbers, from generation, to storage, to delivery to electrical customers - how many megawatthours go in and how many come out? I have, and my calculations tell me storage of solar and wind energy is an obscenely-expensive and wasteful fantasy that is only prolonging real solutions to climate change.

But I haven't seen your equation. Where is it?

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