Distributed Solar

I would like to produce solar electricity at my residence. I am permitted to supply energy to the “grid” with a “grid-tied” system. With the “net metering” plan, I can supply power and obtain credit for my power consumption up to the amount I use. However, if I supply a surplus of power in excess of what I use, I am not permitted to be compensated under current regulations. My desire is simply to sell my surplus power, on the grid, to my neighbors, at fair market value. There is currently no other practical way to do this other than to supply the power to the grid.
In a “distributed power” scheme, “sustainable” or “renewable” energy (solar, wind, etc.) is produced by numerous “small scale” power generators, such as residential solar, tied into the grid. For a distributed power scheme to work, those installations producing a surplus of power must provide it to those that do not. For example, if my solar installation produces more energy than I consume, the surplus would be fed into the grid to supply my neighbor whose house is shaded and doesn’t have solar power, or perhaps an historic building where solar panels would not be installed, or perhaps a manufacturing facility that consumes more power than it can produce. It is readily apparent that, to give this scheme a chance to work, those who supply surplus power must be compensated by those who consume it. In essence, we must be permitted to sell sustainable electric power on the grid. It is my understanding that, at present, we are not.
I would like to enumerate some of the advantages of a distributed solar energy production system.
First is energy security. Silicon solar cells require no exotic materials. They are constructed primarily of silicon which is both common and abundant. They can be produced virtually anywhere in the world, including under-developed countries, from commonly available materials. This ensures an unrestricted and virtually limitless supply of materials. The batteries and inverters required for distributed production can also be constructed of common materials. The energy produced from solar cells can be used to produce more solar cells in an upward spiral of increasing production.
Second is strategic security. Our current “centralized” power generation is “targetable”. Generating stations are primary nuclear targets. You might say such facilities “attract warheads”. A distributed solar generating system where energy is produced on roofs and other locations spread thinly across the country is not easily destroyed by nuclear weapons. In fact, it is not practical. This reduces the value of nuclear warheads as weapons. Silicon production, too, can be “spread out” or “decentralized” in numerous small facilities relatively invulnerable to nuclear attack. By extending this “target reduction” concept to other vital industries, we can reduce our “target load” or “nuclear exposure” significantly. We can increase our “survivability” while simultaneously reducing the strategic value of nuclear weapons and reducing the likelihood of their use. Our cities may, over time, replace high-density uses with lower-density uses, further reducing the risk of attack. Ultimately, we may achieve a state with few nuclear targets, economic security, and negligible risk of nuclear war. This is why I would like distributed energy producers to be able to sell electricity on the grid at market prices. We would like the opportunity to compete with other emerging technologies in a free and open electricity market. So, you see, all I want is to be allowed to sell solar electric power to my neighbors.


  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Distributed Solar

    Uh, we know. :roll:
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Distributed Solar
    rlnac wrote: »
    So, you see, all I want is to be allowed to sell solar electric power to my neighbors.

    To do that you need a system for measuring the flow of electricity to/from each site and then a billing system so that those who use can be billed and those who generate can get paid. You also need a dedicated staff to manage the systems.

    But you don't have that. If you did, you'd be an electric utility company.

    Seems to me that your only options are to split off your neighborhood and form a co-op using your own equipment (good luck with that one - shouldn't cost more than a couple of million, or a few tens of millions to set it up...if you can get permission), or to use political action to change the rules that your current utility company operates under (which may not be easy if they'll have to spend a few million to incorporate net metering and pay programmers for a new billing system).
  • AntronXAntronX Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
    Re: Distributed Solar
    rlnac wrote: »
    ...A distributed solar generating system where energy is produced on roofs and other locations spread thinly across the country is not easily destroyed by nuclear weapons...

    Look up high-altitude electromagnetic pulse device. I don't know the footprint efficacy of these and how easily solar cells can be burned out, perhaps Mr. BB can clarify.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,002 admin
    Re: Distributed Solar

    Here is another thread were we have discussed EMP events.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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