ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar + wind + storage developers 'gearing up' as hybrid projects edge to market
Solar + wind + storage developers 'gearing up' as hybrid projects edge to market; A "wave" of new projects is coming to use wind, solar, and battery storage in ways that will stabilize grids, increase efficiencies and lower power costs.
Herman K. Trabish, July 9, 2019 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Prices are dropping on solar+storage installations.
Renewables are shedding their individual identities as wind and solar become clean energy MWhs. Though no full-scale hybrid projects co-locating both resources and energy storage have been built in the U.S. and few are online around the world, the U.S. renewables industries are taking on barriers such as interconnection, dispatch and compensation challenges, according to speakers at the 2019 American Wind Energy Association's Windpower conference.
For the first time, the conference featured multiple sessions on the trials and opportunities of these hybrid renewables projects. In line with the ambitious resource partnerships among renewable energy groups, next year's conference will be rebranded Cleanpower 2020.
Developers of hybrid projects "are gearing up," InterTran Energy Consulting Principal Rhonda Peters, who has long worked on regulatory obstacles to hybrid projects, told Utility Dive. "It's like the storm is brewing. It hasn't coalesced yet, but hybrid projects are absolutely the future."
Academic studies show the theoretical value of co-located wind and solar when characteristics like resource intensity are complementary. Pilot projects in the U.S. and other countries have validated the research. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) for utility-scale hybrid projects are in place in Oregon and Arizona. But the concept may not become a marketplace reality until regulatory and policy barriers are overcome.
Hybrid projects are defined as two or more fuel sources that share a point of interconnection and are dispatched "as a single generation entity," according to Peters. Theoretically, such projects could allow renewables to participate in capacity markets and be stored for use during peak demand periods that would otherwise require natural gas peaker plant generation.
"Wind and solar are the two cheapest options for new generation, but their production is variable and they don't always generate when the grid needs it most," Rice University Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Daniel Cohan told Utility Dive. Wind's nighttime generation and solar's daytime output can address some of those limitations, Cohan's research on the Texas grid showed… click here for more
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