We support renewable energy and partner with our customers to ensure safe and reliable interconnection of renewable energy into the electric grid. We provide our customers helpful information on renewable energy solutions and programs, like Green Power Connection.
The Edison Electric Institute defines a renewable resource as any source of energy that is continually available or can be renewed or replaced. Examples include wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, photovoltaic, wood, and waste. To identify the best small generator technology for your needs, we recommend you research and consult with an installer or contractor by using publically available resources.
Renewable energy sources can be replenished in a relatively short period of time, and can reduce the need for transmitting electricity through cables, poles, towers, etc. A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a regulation requiring increased use of renewable energy. In our regions, some customers have regulated RPS goals to meet every year. RPS carefully balance the mix of renewable energy sources and traditionally generated electricity to ensure we can provide a reliable electrical supply to our customers. Here are a few renewable sources qualifying for interconnection with our system:
The sun has produced energy (solar radiation) for billions of years. This energy can be converted into other forms of energy, such as heat and electricity. When converted to thermal (or heat) energy, solar energy can be used to heat water, spaces or other fluids. Solar energy can be converted to electricity in two ways:
Wind, which is caused by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun, can be used to generate electricity. A wind turbine is used to collect the wind’s kinetic energy from its blades and converts the motion of the blades to electricity with an electric generator.
Biomass is organic material from plants or animals. When considering the process of photosynthesis, biomass essentially contains stored energy from the sun. When burned, the chemical energy from the biomass is converted to heat and can be converted to electricity. Biomass is renewable because new crops can be grown in a relatively short period of time and they will always create waste. Examples of biomass fuels are wood, crops, manure, and garbage.
Geothermal energy is generated from the heat from within the earth. The heat can be moved to heat buildings or generate electricity. Heat from the earth is constantly replenished and thus renewable. The three main uses of geothermal energy are: direct use for heating systems, electricity generation power plants and geothermal heat pumps.
Hydropower is energy produced from moving water. Since hydropower relies on the earth’s water cycle to replenish the water supply, hydropower is considered renewable. Two main sources of hydropower are the natural flow of rivers and storage systems such as a dam. Mechanical energy is harnessed from the moving water from these sources and can turn an electric generation turbine to produce electricity. Ocean tides and waves can also be a source of energy. However, these systems are not as prevalent for hydropower as dams and rivers.