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If you like solar, tell your utility to publish this map

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Distributed energy generation (like solar) brings unique and valuable benefits to the electric grid. But capturing those benefits means solar and other renewable energy developers must find the best places to plug in to the grid, e.g. where demand is high or infrastructure is stressed. The cost to connect distributed generation may also be lower in these areas. Unfortunately, data about a utility's grid system is rarely public.

California utilities are changing the game.

To support its solar photovoltaic (PV) program, Southern California Edison (SCE) rolled out a map of its grid system, highlighting (in red) areas that "could potentially minimize your costs of interconnection to the SCE system." A similar map is forthcoming from San Diego Gas & Electric.

View large, interactive map

Since as much as a third of the cost of PV can be recaptured via its benefits to the electric grid when properly placed in the distribution system, having this information is crucial for solar developers. Public data also levels the playing field between independent power producers and the utilities, since the latter can use federal tax credits and their proprietary knowledge of the electric grid to build their own distributed renewable energy at the most attractive locations.

Having public data on distribution grid hot spots can make renewable energy development more cost effective and more democratic. Tell your utility to publish its map.


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Sweet. I live up here in the desert of Washington (we get less rain in my town than Phoenix) and it would be the perfect place for solar. The only problem would be the occasional high winds we get.

Also, I've noticed our costco has been carrying more and more solar products.

The latest is Goal Zero... which would be perfect for camping.


Our costco also has biggish panels with kits that have everything but a deep cycle battery.

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006


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Solar is nowhere near as cost effective as say wind, in fact, other than heating water it is the weakest form of renewable energy.

Sure you can run a radio or low watt lighting but imagine how many batteries and panels it would take to run say a dryer or other high use items.

If cost were no factor I guess you could play with it but why install something which can produce 1/5 of what wind does?

In other words, multiply your power bill X 5, thats what you could pay to depend on Solar.

Wanna pay 600 per month in the summer time for power?


"Those people who will not be governed by God

will be ruled by tyrants."

William Penn

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