How solar power saved $6.7 million on a Tuesday
Boston set a record August 29th with the temperature at 98 degrees and the highest peak in New England – Mt Washington – set a record of 65 degrees recently. And while 65 degrees may not seem particularly warm, back in January Mt Washington was the second coldest place on the planet.
With all that, this summer has been a hot one in which grids in several parts of the nation have leaned heavily on solar power. We saw hints of this coming back in the cool spring days of April when it became clear that New England had developed a case of the duck curves, with solar meeting 20% of demand and pushing peak pricing to after sundown. On July 19 solar provided as much as 15% of total electricity in New England, knocking a full 2 GW off of demand at its peak and shifting that peak to the early evening.
Recent data from the Department of Energy showed the changes in electricity generation of New England to the broader world, with solar representing more than 10% of in-state electricity generation in both Massachusetts and Vermont in the first half of 2018.
The reports look specifically at the wholesale pricing market and how solar power lowered the amount of demand on the grid, which in turn lowered the price of electricity. During the six days of July 1 – 7, 2018 the wholesale electricity markets saved approximately $29.9 million. New York saved $10.2 million, while New England’s savings totaled $19.7 million.