New York City Winter Sunset
Image: Adam Stein, Solar States
What Is Peak Demand?
Peak Demand is when electrical power demand is the highest. A likely time for Peak Demand to come is during a heatwave, when households and businesses across the nation turn on their air conditioning to stay cool. When peak demand occurs, utilities fire up peaker plants, which are able to meet the increased demand for electricity.
Sunrun made a splash at the BNEF Summit in New York City at a time when utilities are increasingly struggling to adapt to new realities. But distributed energy resources have a long way to go to play a major role, and we will still need additional energy sources in future power systems.
Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich. Image: Bloomberg
At Solar Power Northeast representatives from Cypress Creek, Stem and Kearsage Energy discussed the possibilities and limitations of bringing big solar to New York and New England.
“500 MW might actually cover all of Rhode Island,” joked Paul Raducha, senior developer for Kearsage energy, but there’s real sentiment behind his quip. While states like California, Nevada and Arizona have seen utility-scale development at mind boggling scales, there are few massive solar plants yet on the East Coast north of Virginia.
Now let’s be honest, nobody is asking for or realistically expecting a multitude of 100 or more MW plants in New England and New York. So what is there to expect?