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Old 07-07-2021, 06:48 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by thingstodo View Post
As for costs, besides the meter ... what costs? The grid does voltage and frequency regulation, has the peaker plants, etc. I must e naive - what does the coop do?
Adding a single roof-mounted solar system to the grid has no additional costs because the amount generated is so insignificant. However, each additional intermittent electricity source (solar system) that is added to the grid adds increasing cost to mitigate the sporadic nature of those systems. Solar is a low quality type of electricity because it's non-dispatchable (does not respond to demand).

Once a certain amount of non-dispatchable electricity is introduced to the grid, it begins to increase the cost of dispatchable electricity. While the direct costs of the solar equipment alone are fixed, there are infrastructure costs that the grid must absorb.

One made up example (to illustrate the problem) is a gas generator with a 30 year operational life. The cost to construct the generator is amortized over the lifetime production of electricity. Because solar is curtailing (reducing) some of the natural gas electrical production, that fixed infrastructure cost has to be spread over fewer generated GWh. Instead of that natural gas plant being able to produce electricity for 3 cents per kWh, it now costs 4 or 5.
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