Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems: Will They Reduce Utility Peaking Requirements?

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Science  10 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4504, pp. 211-213
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4504.211


From an analysis of the long-run electric generating requirements of several representative utilities, it is concluded that the energy supplied by solar photovoltaic power devices will displace primarily base-load, and to a lesser extent intermediate, generating plants, even at relatively modest penetrations corresponding to several percent of the utility peak load. Attaching photovoltaic devices to the utility grid will not yield significant fuel oil savings over the long run, in which utilities approach the economic optimum generating mix, and will increase peak plant requirements. Utility capacity and fuel savings of photovoltaic devices are reported both for the case without storage and for the case in which the utility has access to load-leveling storage.