“Every BIG helps”
– David MacKay, Cambridge University
“Setting aggressive renewable energy goals that must be met every two years is a better way to spur innovations than what longer-term goals could accomplish”
– Michael Splinter, Applied Materials
The often cited report from a Task Force orchestrated by the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, “Connecting Colorado’s Renewable Resources to the Markets”, http://www.colorado.gov/energy/index.ph ... lications/
(under Reports & Industry Studies) is a comprehensive inventory of BIG renewable energy resources in Colorado.
It identifies “Generation Development Areas”, that have at least 1GW of renewable resources each, and where developers can compete for utility scale projects. It identifies 2 GDAs for Solar, and cites an NREL report that used an arbitrary screen for analytical purposes (not to be construed as an upper limit): just 2% of the identified areas would yield 5.5GW.
The report also identifies 8 GDAs for wind, and inventories hydropower, including pumped storage; geothermal and biomass; and ethanol and biodiesel. It describes the Colorado electricity generation environment with respect to renewables, and the status of transmission capacity. It wraps up with a description of state policy in support of renewables, and current status across IOUs, REAs and municipal utilities in the state.
It posits that Colorado can be a net exporter of renewable energy, based on available natural resources. It identifies barriers for utility scale deployment, and states that perhaps the foremost challenges for wind and others are the unique transmission capacity constraints that exist in Colorado.
Task Force members have submitted the report as a means to encourage further dialogue among all interested stakeholders, to continue discussion on these important topics – the report is unique in its coverage, and an important step towards energy independence.
In this context, we posit that Wholelsale Distributed Generation solar systems can be an adjunct to utility scale GDAs: for local load centers, WDG offers the opportunity to finesse the transmission issue, and facilitate BIG deployment.
Policy activity in support of WDG has begun in California (although John Barnes reports initial comments do not contain tariffs that will encourage massive deployment). Also in California, in Santa Clara, a forward looking county supervisor has proposed WDG for supplying county needs:http://social.cpvtoday.com/content/sant ... tallations
We are not aware of any inventory of 1MW-10MW opportunities located close to load centers: we encourage stakeholders to discuss means for inventorying this opportunity: while the chatter about community scale and district scale solar deployment is increasing, absent an inventory we can only conjecture that BIG deployment is enabled.