Photovoltaic Activities Within the United States Electric Utility Industry
Interest in photovoltaic conversion is growing in the United States electric utility industry, stemming from a perception that photo-voltaics (PV) is one of several emerging renewable resource technologies that may contribute to bulk electricity supplies before the turn of the century. The 1980 EPRI Survey of Electric Utility Solar Energy Activities has identified 32 U.S. electric utilities engaged in a total of 48 activities related to PV, with government and/or private financial support.
The Electric Power Research Institute program in PV is aimed primarily at clarification of prospects for large-scale utility applications of PV systems. This program includes major thrusts in (a) electric utility integration assessment, (b) PV hardware research and development, and (c) status assessment and information transfer.
Electric utility acceptance of any emerging technology as a reliable electricity generation alternative will require sufficient time to allow the technology to mature in an orderly manner, and to allow the development of confidence in performance and contributions. This acceptance will require successful resolution of a number of key issues related to (a) primary impacts, such as energy and capacity displacement and revenue requirements; (b) power plant performance evaluation and verification; (c) energy resource assessment and power plant siting; (d) network dynamic interactions and operational impacts; (e) communication and education involving hardware developers, users, the financial and other institutional communities, and the general public.
KeywordsElectric Utility Electric Power Research Institute Transient Stability Indium Phosphide Conventional Power Plant
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