2018-10-11 / Letters to the Editor

Solar power users do indeed save money

To the editor:

I wrote an earlier letter explaining that a study of solar power on the regional grid showed privately owned solar arrays had saved all ratepayers $20 million during the course of just one week in July.

This savings was due to ISO-NE, our grid operator not having to procure energy from “peaker plants,” the dirtiest and most expensive type of electricity generation. The savings those solar owners saved on their personal accounts was much more.

I also mentioned the advent of grid scale batteries. Due to the high dollar and environmental cost of these peaker plants, utilities around the world are installing large battery systems to provide that short-term boost to their grids almost instantly and at a much lower cost. What they are discovering is that not only do these batteries provide extra power faster and cheaper, they also provide valuable grid services such as voltage and frequency regulation and can be programed to perform these services automatically.

These advances in modern electricity generation and management are saving the utilities that use them lots of money that simply will not be on the books at their next rate case, and therefore will not need to be recovered, keeping rate increases down. National Grid sought these modern advances in their recent rate case, which I was involved in for the past nine months. Because our rates are going up again, these changes cannot come fast enough.

Doug Sabetti
President, Newport Solar
Vernon Avenue, Newport

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