An increase in capacity and potentially of reserve margin in Texas shows that the state which traditionally has relied on fossil fuels and natural gas continues to accommodate and look for solar.
The Electric Reliability council of Texas recently announced that they are increasing the capacity value for solar to 100 percent capacity for up to 200 megawatts of installed capacity. After that, the capacity value depends on how much solar is available at least 50 percent of the time, with an expectation of 70-80% average.
ERCOT is also looking at increasing its reserve margin target from 13.75 percent to 16.1 percent and whether to formalize this as a mandate. By increasing reserve’s ERCOT is similar to many other grids in the USA as it responds to the growing electricity demand but also the greater flexibility required for integrating larger amounts of renewables into the grid.
Both Texas and New Mexico are integrating larger amounts of utility-scale PV in their states. Just last week it was announced that First Solar has signed an agreement with Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) to construct three solar power plants totalling 23 MW. First Solar will provide full EPC services as well as its thin film modules to these plants.
These utility-scale plants which are on the smaller scale, is another sign of the trend to far smaller plants. However they still count as utility-scale solar as the plants have PPAs.
To ensure that companies know how to take advantage of the opportunities with utilities and grid systems across the USA, Utility-scale PV Plant optimization 2013 (25-26 September, San Jose) berings together the top engineers and commercial strategists from the nation’s leading states. John Adams, Principal Engineer, ERCOT and Mike Bellikoff, VP of Systems development at First will also be joined by leaders at Arizona Public Services, SunEdison, Tucson Electric Power and Nevada Energy to ensure companies improve their plant performances and reduce transaction costs from day one of development.
For more information visit: www.pv-insider.com/optimizationusa