Next week 1000’s of utility executives and power trade stakeholders will flock to New Orleans to take part in DistribuTECH – a present predominantly for distribution utilities – and the primary time, photo voltaic tools firms shall be among the many a whole bunch of exhibitors within the exhibit corridor.

The rising curiosity in photo voltaic on the a part of utilities isn’t any shock to these following the renewable power trade — the expertise has grown enormously over the previous decade and in some sizzling markets, distributed /residential photo voltaic has begun disrupting utility operations. Indeed, DistribuTECH has total tracks dedicated to DER (distributed power useful resource) Management and Control, Energy Storage, Smart Cities, and Disruptive, Emerging and Innovative Technologies.

We wished to know what photo voltaic tools firms, Canadian Solar, JinkoSolar and Shoals, see as the way forward for photo voltaic for distribution utilities. Read on to listen to their ideas on the matter.

DTECH: What questions do you assume utilities nonetheless have about the easiest way to include photo voltaic onto their grids?

Jeff Juger, Director of Business Development, JinkoSolar: Utilities is likely to be confused by the variety of photo voltaic module expertise choices accessible at the moment.  Utilities may also be involved about patrons of distributed photo voltaic and the way a lot energy it feeds into the grid, in addition to the incremental worth of continued photo voltaic deployments. 

Robert Weber, Director of Utility Solutions, Canadian Solar: The questions we get most incessantly from utilities come from issues across the funding and long-term viability of solar energy vegetation.  From smaller utilities, the place microgrids are an element, or the place there’s a excessive penetration of photo voltaic and different renewable power, then there’s additionally the query of the right way to combine these renewables right into a dependable, resilient grid with storage and different types of backup energy.

DTECH: How do you reply to these questions?

Juger, JinkoSolar: Guaranteed monofacial energy from manufacturers who’ve serviced the US market for a few years and have weathered the varied market shocks are the most effective and most bankable guess to guard your funding long run.  As the photo voltaic useful resource grows, utilities ought to contemplate storage to boost photo voltaic and save themselves cash by deferring transmission and capability upgrades. 

Weber, Canadian Solar: We have expanded to be not solely an tools provider however a full-service provider, providing EPC/EPCM and O&M companies to our prospects to reduce the LCOE of those new photo voltaic vegetation.  Everything we provide, from modules constructed to probably the most stringent high quality requirements to asset administration companies, is designed to make it possible for solar energy plant homeowners get the total 25+ 12 months worth out of their funding.  Working in partnership with utilities and photo voltaic plant homeowners helps us again the designs, ensure that they’re working at peak efficiency and we be taught from these factors to assist in future plant designs.  Regarding grid integration of renewables, that’s the place Canadian Renewable Energy Laboratory (CANREL) provides an important service – and software program simulation of microgrids, smartgrids, and grid-connected microgrids.  At our CANREL facility in Ontario, Canada, we’ve programmable load controllers, sensible meters, sensible controllers, wind turbine, PV photo voltaic set up, wind and photo voltaic simulators, Li-ion battery storage system, EV chargers and distant web entry. It supplies a check mattress for utilities to check their microgrid/sensible grid/grid modernization options.

DTECH: Thinking about large-scale photo voltaic VS photo voltaic as a DER, the place do you see photo voltaic making a much bigger influence within the coming years? Why?

Juger, JinkoSolar: Solar is immensely common with the general public, so distributed photo voltaic will proceed to develop; nonetheless, the utility photo voltaic market ought to proceed to account for greater than 50% of the general market over the subsequent few years because of favorable PPA costs.  For instance, utilities within the southeast who’ve traditionally been slower to undertake photo voltaic are actually quickly including photo voltaic as a result of photo voltaic costs are extra aggressive and extra predictable than…

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