The electricity grid doesn’t like surprises. Sudden voltage spikes or sags do not a healthy grid make. So proponents of large-scale solar and wind are working to create tools to smooth over volatility issues, so these generating resources can be integrated seamlessly onto the grid. If we’re going to be in a position to rely on more solar and wind power and use these to replace significant amounts of power generated from coal, the grid planning and dispatch issues must be addressed.

Which brings us to yesterday’s announcement by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) that they have received a $100,000 federal grant to study the problem as it relates specifically to solar power. Under the grant, they will “evaluate how effectively solar energy systems can replace traditional utility generating resources.”

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TEP will also evaluate “the true costs and benefits” of the almost 400 photovoltaic (PV) systems their customers have already installed in their service area through their SunShare program.

Read more here: “TEP Wins Federal Grant to Evaluate Solar Energy Systems.”

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