Getting Charged Up

Getting Charged Up 

Getting Charged Up

By John Krukowski, Knighthouse Media 

Barriers that for many years held back wider adoption of renewables appear to be crumbling, according to a recent report that notes onshore wind and solar have become noticeably more cost-competitive.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) explains that factors such as a 79 percent drop in lithium-ion battery costs since 2010 are resulting in “record-low prices” for wind and solar, “and those records are being broken again and again on a regular basis.” Renewables also benefit from strides made in dispatchable power and their ability to respond to fast-changing power demands.

BNEF describes such trends as “chilling for the fossil fuel sector.” Maybe. Though it might be true that an economic argument for adding new coal and gas capacity is weakening, “traditional” utilities can benefit from these developments, too.

A case in point is the work Conti Solar performed for Eversource Energy not long ago. “Eversource saw an opportunity to save customers money and petitioned [regulators] to develop, construct and operate 70 megawatts of solar facilities in Massachusetts,” Conti Solar Regional Manager Sean Harrington tells Senior Editor Alan Dorich in our next issue.

Harrington is sanguine about the future, even in light of tariff talk in Washington, D.C. “The solar industry has reacted without much of a downturn," he says. "Our revenue goals for 2018 remain unchamged and we see many markets that we are currently working in continuing to integrate renewables and adding battery storage."

 

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