The renewables boom is spreading across America with no signs of slowing. Now is the time for energy companies to begin looking at how to get the most out of their grid management. With renewable generation methods presenting a whole new set of problems to be solved, adapting to those needs is a must to ensure you’re getting the most out of the grid and providing the best service to customers.
So, how exactly has renewable energy changed the priorities involved in grid management? Here are just a few key ways wind and solar has played a major role in one of the most significant modern shake-ups in grid management today:
Evolving beyond centralized energy
For many years, the US electrical grid was built around centralized points of power generation. While this ‘one-way’ system has been the standard for years, the growth in decentralized energy is putting increasing strain on existing grid management – leading to the need for big changes. By adapting the grid to accept energy across the spectrum, instead of from single, designated points, you can greatly optimize and improve efficiency all in one.
Accounting for new peaks in power
While peaks in energy usage are a standard for grid management, renewable energy introduces all-new highs and lows. Unlike traditional power systems, solar and wind aren’t turned on and off at will. Instead, generation can be lopsided or entirely variable from hour to hour. Grid management is needed to accommodate this huge variation, allowing excess energy to be put to use instead of wasted during significant peaks.
More flexibility for greater variability
A system that uses renewables has to adapt to the various peaks of wind and solar and the variability of new renewables entering the grid at any time. From properties buying into solar panels to farms hiring out fields to wind generation, the grid needs to be more flexible than ever before to account for these sudden additions and changes. Unlike a large-scale power plant, in most cases, you won’t get advanced warning of an influx of power – making it more important than ever to have excellent flexibility in grid management.
Efficient storage will become even more essential
With highs come lows, and any grid utilizing renewable energy needs also to have the storage capacity to carry households through low periods. From seasonal changes to differing weather patterns, grid management needs to be just as focused on storage efficiency as it does around active management. Upgrades and changes to storage systems may be a must to account for far greater variability and keep everything running on-track in the long term.
Renewable energy is here to stay, and grid management must keep up with the fast energy changes that are likely to become more significant in the near future. At Peak Substation Services, our knowledgeable and experienced team understands the ins and outs of renewable energy and the challenges that can arise.