by Gary Gentry (May 13, 2016) www.azcentral.com
It would help to understand the controversy over rooftop solar power if we understand how the electricity grid works.
The electricity grid is like a full tank of water with a pipe putting water in (generators) and a pipe taking water out (electricity users). The volume being removed must exactly match the volume coming in; the laws of physics don’t allow it to be otherwise.
John Kannarr’s letter in The Republic (May 8) is totally wrong in concluding that producing solar power during the day is of no benefit.
Everyone knows that peak demand occurs in the early evening and that demand earlier in the day is lower. But demand during the day is not zero. Refrigerators and clocks don’t shut down in the afternoon. Offices, businesses and homes still use electricity during low demand periods and APS still produces it.
In that sense there is really no such thing as “excess power.” So every kilowatt produced by rooftop solar panels goes into the grid, allowing APS to avoid burning fuel to produce that kilowatt. That’s a benefit to APS and the environment and should be considered in the pricing.
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