In the US state of Arizona, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) has started producing energy at its first utility scale solar plant. NTUA is an electricity, water, natural gas, wastewater and photovoltaic services provider distributing energy to some 41,259 electric, 7,929 natural gas and 205 photovoltaic customers.
The 27.3MW Kayenta solar facility comprises some 119,301 solar panels on 300 acres of land to generate and provide clean and affordable energy to some 13,000 homes.
According to Deenise Becenti, manager of government and public affairs at NTUA, the solar facility was developed over a period of six months with investments of up to $60 million.
The project is claimed to be the first utility solar facility to be developed in the region. The plant is part of efforts by NTUA to expand its renewable energy resources to reduce carbon emissions and operational expenses.
Previously, NTUA purchased the majority of electricity used to meet its customer demands from other energy distributors such as the Tucson Electric Power and the Public Service Company of New Mexico.
However, the operation of the new solar plant will enable the utility to acquire additional revenue by selling electricity to energy retailers outside Navajo and use the money to develop the local economy and in expanding its customer base and grid infrastructure.
Becenti said revenue to be generated from the solar facility will be used to connect some 15,000 homes currently without electricity, on the utility’s grid network.
Solar energy and grid stability
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, researchers at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTEM) demonstrated how demand response can be integrated with solar PV to reduce peak demand.
The researchers implemented three pilot projects to test how utility firms can make use of demand response to improve consumer energy efficiency and meet peak demand by sustaining the reliability of grid networks during times when energy demand is high.
The three trial programmes included some 100 participants on which researchers collected some 10,000 analysis on how consumers responded to calls for them to reduce energy usage. Read more...
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