ripple4
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:48 pm

danrjones wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:14 pm

Yes, each module came with a rapid shutdown module that goes under the panel and produces about 1v. The SMA inverter activates them all. Seems to work fine, I wish I did not need it, so that I could have had a plug on the inverter for any power outages... but it was required.

Side note, I saw an article this AM that all the power companies are pushing hard for huge changes to NEM in CA. They want drastic reductions in the NEM credit as well as monthly fees ranging from $50 to $90 for the honor of being on the grid.

I do agree that we solar folks need to pay some amount as upkeep for the grid, since we are using it. I don't know what the right amount actually should be. Currently SCE charges me about $11 a month minimum for that, even if I produce more power than use.

Personally I think they need me more than I need them. I would need a battery install but with that, I make plenty of power to be off grid. I think technically I can't legally BE off grid, but I'm not paying $90 for essentially a connection fee. What do they do if you refuse to pay your power bill? Disconnect you? Perfect. So we shall see where that goes, but NUTS to that.
I'm not sure it will come to anything but I saw an online petition to have NEC remove the module level shutdown and return to the 2014 rule with array level shut down. on the off chance its legit and could make things better there is a link. https://www.fixmlsd.com/

On the other aspect about going off-grid or what I recently learned is called "grid-fall-back" it seems like the way to go. Its a world-wide issue, Down-Under the grid stability is an issue with the quantity of solar they have, they sometimes need to install synchronous condensers to correct issues with grid inertia. In Ohio they are converting old coal/steam generators into synchronous condensers for similar reasons.

on the net-metering If you look as CAISO they have to curtail so much solar in the middle of the day its insane, so I see their perspective. why should they pay people whatever per kilowatt hour at noon, when they are curtailing 10's of gigawatts of their own solar. its an information problem, because an individual with a 'grid-fall-back' solar+battery can choose to run loads midday for themselves, pay no extra grid service fee and still get the privilege of unlimited power when the battery is dead for only the $7/mo cost of the meter.

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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:26 pm

ripple4 wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:48 pm
on the net-metering If you look as CAISO they have to curtail so much solar in the middle of the day its insane, so I see their perspective. why should they pay people whatever per kilowatt hour at noon, when they are curtailing 10's of gigawatts of their own solar.
The utilities curtail PV to operate and buy fossil sources.

You may not believe me but it is true. You can verify it by looking at the CAISO graph of system demand net of renewables. It never goes below 8 GW.
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salyavin
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:19 pm

danrjones wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:14 pm
I think technically I can't legally BE off grid, but I'm not paying $90 for essentially a connection fee. What do they do if you refuse to pay your power bill? Disconnect you? Perfect. So we shall see where that goes, but NUTS to that.
Where did you hear you can't legally be off grid? I was told I could be removed if I wanted. And yes exactly just don't pay them as you say if you had a battery system that could take you off grid. Just don't forget about the inverters to keep up with demand (like charging you car l2) many battery systems people buy have weak inverters not meant to run air conditioning, oven, l2 car charging at the same time but are more meant to run a limited number of important things while there is an outage. You would pay more than a typical Tesla Wall.

danrjones
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:03 am

salyavin wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:19 pm
danrjones wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:14 pm
I think technically I can't legally BE off grid, but I'm not paying $90 for essentially a connection fee. What do they do if you refuse to pay your power bill? Disconnect you? Perfect. So we shall see where that goes, but NUTS to that.
Where did you hear you can't legally be off grid? I was told I could be removed if I wanted. And yes exactly just don't pay them as you say if you had a battery system that could take you off grid. Just don't forget about the inverters to keep up with demand (like charging you car l2) many battery systems people buy have weak inverters not meant to run air conditioning, oven, l2 car charging at the same time but are more meant to run a limited number of important things while there is an outage. You would pay more than a typical Tesla Wall.
Good question. Not sure where I heard that.

I'll keep all that in mind, right now I only have solar so that would be a further investment, but perhaps very worth it if SCE wants to charge me as much as is rumored.

The good news is I live practically in the sun capital of the world. Its almost always sunny here.
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danrjones
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:15 am

ripple4 wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:48 pm

on the net-metering If you look as CAISO they have to curtail so much solar in the middle of the day its insane, so I see their perspective. why should they pay people whatever per kilowatt hour at noon, when they are curtailing 10's of gigawatts of their own solar. its an information problem, because an individual with a 'grid-fall-back' solar+battery can choose to run loads midday for themselves, pay no extra grid service fee and still get the privilege of unlimited power when the battery is dead for only the $7/mo cost of the meter.

I do see their perspective. And people talk about a glut of solar during the day. But yet their rate plan would seem to dispute this assertion. As far as I understand, while the PUC must approve the rates, SCE comes up with the plans. Right now my plan is Time of Use, with three zones. Cheapest is 10pm to 8am, mid prices is 8am to 2pm and highest rate from 2pm to 8pm. Mid tier again 8pm to 10pm.

The takeaway I see from my rate plan is that SCE thinks the priciest power, highest demand period, is 2pm to 8pm. During the majority of that time I'm a producer. Yes, near the end, they have to spin up Peaker plants for the evening and night. But at night they still consider to be the cheapest power. And most of the morning and mid day is middle priced. So it can't be a total glut of too much solar or wouldn't the rate plan be reversed, such that day was the cheapest power?

Anyway, whatever way you slice it, they need me more than I need them. I'm a net producer. And if I can find a way to leave the grid that works with my pocketbook, I will.

Hopefully large scale grid storage will be here soon, and that would solve the problem.
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ripple4
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:03 am

danrjones wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:15 am

people talk about a glut of solar during the day. But yet their rate plan would seem to dispute this assertion. As far as I understand, while the PUC must approve the rates, SCE comes up with the plans. Right now my plan is Time of Use, with three zones. Cheapest is 10pm to 8am, mid prices is 8am to 2pm and highest rate from 2pm to 8pm. Mid tier again 8pm to 10pm.

The takeaway I see from my rate plan is that SCE thinks the priciest power, highest demand period, is 2pm to 8pm. During the majority of that time I'm a producer. Yes, near the end, they have to spin up Peaker plants for the evening and night. But at night they still consider to be the cheapest power. And most of the morning and mid day is middle priced. So it can't be a total glut of too much solar or wouldn't the rate plan be reversed, such that day was the cheapest power?
You are lucky that you have TOU pricing, in the market i'm in its all flat rate without peak demand charges for residential users. and as i mentioned, as an individual economic actor i could match my consumption to these prices if i was incentivized to do so. I still charge my EV at night (when my home battery is dead that is) instead of 8pm out of some notion of not abusing the grid.

The electrical pricing situation is interesting. and as i understand it there are several markets for the same power, the cost differences between the producer and consumer markets are where fortunes are made and lost. Some of these differences were laid bare in the whole texas winter storm outage debacle. anyway, most grid administrators seem to have some variations on producer day-ahead auctions, and producer 5 minute/realtime auctions, which are priced at the so-called LMP or locational marginal pricing. then there is the retail market, which is separated from reality of LMP due to consumer protection laws (or at least it should be, i think.) While the TOU pricing may have been intended to match the LMP when it was designed, is not going line up with LMP pricing perfectly or all the time because the LMP reflects grid congestion, total load, power import/export and also can be influenced by traders creating artificial scarcity, think enron. so I see from your post that 2pm to 8pm is the highest tier, but the typical LMP cost over the day on 3/25/2021 dipped between 9am and 7pm to $20/mWh, which is $0.02/kwh. so in a net metering situation they would be paying a grid tie solar person the top tier rate, (which is what?) While curtailing their own $20/mWh solar producers. I just wanted to flesh out the TOU vs LMP difference, so i'm not even disagreeing with the idea here, i think off-grid or micro-grid or whatever its called is the way to go.

here is a report on curtailment vs renewable penetration, showing how much curtailment could happen in future scenarios, its alot.

http://web.stanford.edu/class/ee392n/le ... -21-15.pdf

searchable daily LMP tool for CAiso.

http://www.energyonline.com/Data/Generi ... ?DataId=20

danrjones
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:46 pm

I think besides the changes they want to net metering we are also looking at near term rate increases as well.

But right now our three tier rates fir winter are 16 cents, 30 cents and 40 cents per kWh. Summer is 16, 34 and 61 cents.

Actually that looks like the summer rate already went up or is in place now when we switch to summer rates.

What's strange is they keep bumping up the 2pm to 8pm rate. But that's also mostly a good time for me as I'm still putting in until 7 pm or later in the summer.
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Marktm
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:29 am

ripple4 wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:03 am

The electrical pricing situation is interesting. and as i understand it there are several markets for the same power, the cost differences between the producer and consumer markets are where fortunes are made and lost. Some of these differences were laid bare in the whole texas winter storm outage debacle. anyway, most grid administrators seem to have some variations on producer day-ahead auctions, and producer 5 minute/realtime auctions, which are priced at the so-called LMP or locational marginal pricing. then there is the retail market, which is separated from reality of LMP due to consumer protection laws (or at least it should be, i think.)
Ripple;
Comments from my experience in Houston, TX using Griddy - a retail provider - during the Texas storm:
- My contract with Griddy is basically a subscription fee of $10/month - and pay whatever energy cost is set by ERCOT/TX PUC over 15 min interval (may be 5 min average - would have made little difference during this event).
- There were several days of continuous $9/kWH pricing (yes, 900 cent/kWH). Not being at home and having gas heating, my consumption was only 20-30 kWH per day. Even with this low usage, my electrical bill during this extreme event was over $1000 - anecdotally that some where over $10,000.
- If the entire energy consumption listed by ERCOT during this several day event was priced at the level, my grosso-modo calcs indicate that the providers took in about $45 billion during the storm as every kWH was charged at this level, not just the high cost/marginal providers.
- As a result, Griddy folded and is being sued for millions $$ for gouging practices (IMO, a disgrace as in reality, the gouging is the ERCOT/PUC pricing structure).
- Millions of households statewide were left without power (heat) for several days as ERCOT shut down massive areas of the grid (temperatures in the teens and below freezing for extended days).
- It appears to me that large generator/retailers like NRG did not suffer so much because for them it was a "wash" (although ERCOT has a "Ancilliary" fee of about 10-15% that I guess they pocket - in this case billions $$s).
- Many ERCOT resignations resulted!
- I'm sure my analysis may overstate what ERCOT/providers "took in", as I saw reports that it was in the 10 - 20 billion $$, but regardless, the $9/kWH is so extreme that (IMO), the pricing system needs a complete overhaul. Marginal providers at 2 or 3 times the average rate would be more realistic?
- Bottom line, a real fiasco!
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ripple4
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:48 am

danrjones, Thanks for sharing this current pricing information, can you please clarify if these are generation cost or if this is an out the door price? I did not appreciate the costs that you had to deal with and I can see why it’s worth a lot of effort from you to mitigate a possible $0.61/KWH charge, with an electric car to contend with too.

I will share my current project with you, as person with a micro-grid / off-grid, and why I’m working on it, if it would help. with 5200wp elevation-angled for summer and facing nearly south, I get about 6,300kWh against 11,500 kWh/year usage. I obviously want to increase production further, but I cannot just add more panels because on sunny days, even in winter, I end up curtailing power. This is analogous to the entire grid having to curtail with solar penetration over >>33%. So, there are two timeframes that I am trying to optimize over, the daily morning/evening time frame and also the winter/summer one. Right now, I’m focused on the winter/summer production balancing and what I came up with is vertical solar panels mounted right against the side of my 2-story house. Vertical, south facing solar panels at around 41 degree north latitude make the same power in the winter as in the summer. Run it on PVwatts for your location. the mental hurtle that I had to jump over was that in the summer a vertical rack has energy production that is 1/2 what it could be if perfectly angled, but then I’m not concerned because I would be curtailing that anyway. The way I figure it, I’m going to get a lifetime price of $.019/kWh on the supplemental 1kw array that I’m working on. it’s made of 10x 100w panels because the balance of system (BOS) costs are so much lower for the very simple improvised vertical racking (hanger bolts into the wall studs and ¾” alum angle with stainless hardware) and the fact I already have the solar power infrastructure. I can suffer a retail price on the high-quality, north-american-made rigid solar panels (5 buss bar, ½ cut cells) which were still a decent $.50/watt delivered.

The next level optimizations would be morning/evening and the solution I like is vertical bifacial panels oriented north south. It’s an idea getting traction in Europe since it allows modest agriculture production between rows. Morning/evening balancing can also be addressed with a larger battery, but I think it’s cheaper to have dedicated west facing panels. Anyway, this vertical, bifacial layout will have a “M” shaped power output curve that will compliment a traditional bell-curve shaped output curve of a typical angled south facing array. I know some bifacial panels don’t output the same power from both side, so maybe do ½ one way ½ the other. It would have very low BOS costs, since its like a privacy fence on cheap posts and does not need expensive racking. Not sure on the full life cost per kWh, but its got to be less than $0.61!

Marktm, it's good to hear your experience, is there a thread dedicated to the texas outage yet, it would be interesting to explore how micro-grid solar could have helped there, I understand it was sunny 3 of the 4 days in houston, is that correct?

danrjones
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Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:18 am

ripple4 wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:48 am
danrjones, Thanks for sharing this current pricing information, can you please clarify if these are generation cost or if this is an out the door price? I did not appreciate the costs that you had to deal with and I can see why it’s worth a lot of effort from you to mitigate a possible $0.61/KWH charge, with an electric car to contend with too.

This is the out the door price, when you look at your bill those rates are divided between generation and delivery and other charges. So the 61 cents is the "final" overall price to the customer. *BUT, not really. Because SCE also has daily minimum fees and baseline credits. For example, my plan has a daily fee 3 cents plus a minimum daily charge of 35 cents. What that really means is that when they add everything up, if it doesn't exceed 30x35 cents (for a 30 day month), I still must pay $10.50. Which with my new panels is exactly what happens. Now I agree that amount probably des not cover the grid that I am using, but that circles us back to her beginning and what is the correct amount? Don't know.

One other thing I should mention, i am on a grandfathered plan. The newest TOU (Time of Use) plans only include 2 time periods. One cannot sign up for the plan I am on. But even though it is a grandfathered, they CAN and HAVE been raising the rates on the old plans. So i still think if they had too much daytime solar they would decrease the day cost and increase the night cost (?), and that's not what they have done. Mostly they have jacked WAY up the 2pm to 8pm costs and left the others the same.

You can read about the plan here if you are curious:

https://www.sce.com/residential/rates/s ... rate-plans

I am under TOU-D-A
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