ScottMadden released its latest edition of The ScottMadden Energy Industry Update (EIU). Themed “Everything Counts … In Large Amounts,” this EIU explores key considerations for utilities in balancing or prioritizing development of utility-scale versus distributed renewable resources.
“Large amounts” of renewable resources are on the horizon, constituting a big part of interconnection queues across the nation. But what should the balance be between utility-scale and distributed renewables? Depending on what’s in the ground and policy incentives, focusing on utility-scale resources may make sense for many utilities.
As the EIU highlights, the growth of renewables is shaped by many drivers, including state policy, resource availability, technology costs, geography and customer preferences. As more states transition to high-renewable energy penetrations, utilities will need to be nuanced in their thinking about the best portfolio of products to offer their customers. There are several criteria — including cost, speed to scale, and grid integration — that point toward leveraging utility-scale resources. For a utility that has yet to set a direction, these factors provide a compelling rationale to pursue a strategy comprised predominantly of utility-scale renewables.
“For utilities in states without a significant penetration of solar, utility-scale solar offers them the opportunity to shape their own future and improve their product offering to customers,” explains Sean Lawrie, partner at ScottMadden.
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