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"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

5.24.2016

SOME PROMOTE NATIONAL GRID FOR RENEWABLES, OTHER THINK MICRO IS BETTER




The June edition of The Atlantic includes an article on the nation's energy grid and quotes from City of #Tallahassee's David Byrne, manager of integrated planning for the city’s electric system. 

In the article, David Byrne, talks about the steps the City took toward investments in renewable energy and the much anticipated solar installation to be built on property at Tallahassee's airport. Byrne also says he 
"expects that it could be tough to find land cheap enough to meaningfully increase (renewable energy production) using sunshine alone. 
So Byrne is looking for wind, too. The problem is that in Florida, there just isn’t much of it. Some time ago, Tallahassee signed a memorandum of understanding with Clean Line to transmit wind power from rural Oklahoma. That line just received important support from the Department of Energy, but it still has to overcome some hurdles before Clean Line can break ground." While this article focuses on a national grid system, (which would use direct current transmission rather than alternating) it doesn't address the fact that long-distance transmission of energy is generally the most costly and difficult way to deliver reliable electricity from largely or wholly renewable supplies, wind and photovoltaics."

What some in Tallahassee are considering is a micro-grid system and community solar whereby small producers of excess electricity through solar could sell their power to a user nearby, rather than feeding it back to the grid, as is the current net metering model. Smaller solar arrays installed across the County (or counties) could address both efficiency and land costs.

For more on a Tallahassee model for distributed energy, see this post.

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