It seems that every other day, we are bombarded with ‘breaking news’ of the best technological advances in the solar energy industry and from the RE industry as a whole. Remember the time where we had a war between the best solar panel efficiency for a couple of weeks (or days) on end? Although all of that is mighty well and good, there hasn’t been much or rather a real improvement to the way that the energy is being stored and distributed. Speaking of storage, our previous article speaks a lot about that, so I guess the real problem now is the distribution of the stored energy.
Just very recently, an article surfaced on Forbes, courtesy of fellow contributor, William Pentland who gave us an insight on the ongoings of one of the states in the New England region in the USA – Maine. It seems that there has been a new player who stepped up from the region to manage a part of the electric power grid – GridSolar.
The reason for their advent is due to the fact that the Central Maine Power (CMP) has committed to spend $1.5 billion for the construction of a third voltage transmission path to support the first two lines in times of peak loads where the first two might risk failure. In short, CMP is spending more money to up their reliability but being ever so redundant.
According to GridSolar, “The reliability problem in Maine is a direct result of high load conditions on the hottest hours of the year when air conditioning is operating at full blast. What creates this demand for electricity, of course, is the heat of the sun. If we can use that same sunlight to generate electricity close to where the air conditioning is being used, we do not need expensive transmission to bring electricity into Maine. This is the GridSolar Concept – to develop electricity resources in Maine and a smart electric grid that can be called upon when loads on the grid are at their highest.”
In my opinion, why not? If one is able to cut costs, avoid being redundant and also get the job done, by all means, go right ahead! The problem is, what GridSolar is doing is technically illegal in other states outside of Maine, which I deem it an extremely unfortunate predicament. Why should it be illegal to want to make the population’s lives better? To want to spend less money in being innovative than to spend more money in being redundant? I believe it is time that certain laws and jurisdictions be reviewed, be opened for discussion or at the very least, be open for collaboration with other parties.
“To explain by way of analogy, imagine a state where for decades only one company had been legally authorized to own and operate gas stations. What would happen if the state decided to allow a second company to own and operate gas stations?” according to William Pentland, contributor at Forbes.
Just imagine, what would happen if Tenaga Nasional Berhad has a rival to its electricity distribution system? I mean, we are already seeing this trend taking place with UBER & GrabCar VS. Regular Taxis and also with the rumors that MyRepublic from Singapore is heading over to our shores to disrupt the Broadband Industry and giving Telekom Malaysia (TM) a run for its money. Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
P.S. In other related news, did you know that you only have a MONTH left to sign up for a solar PV system to secure your place for the SEDA 2016 FiT Rate & Quota? Don’t know what we’re talking about?