Manatt Partner Quoted on Hybrid Energy Systems in Renewable Energy World
“Mix'n'Match Hybrids Boost Renewable Load Factors”Renewable Energy World magazine
September/October 2010 - Manatt partner David L. Huard, chair of the firm’s Energy, Environment and Natural Resources practice group, spoke to Renewable Energy World magazine for an article on the increased use of hybrid energy systems. Hybrid energy systems, the publication reports, wed green technology with fossil fuels or other renewables to enhance supply and cut emissions in both utility-scale plants and on-site generation applications.
Energy sources, the article says, are often portrayed at odds with one another in “an epic struggle of green versus brown, with the winner ultimately powering the world.” In actuality, renewable and fossil fuel resources are treated more as allies, as pieces of a puzzle, which when fit together properly, keep on the lights with minimum impact on prices and the environment.
Sometimes this means placing power plants strategically on an electric grid. Fossil fuel plants and wind farms, for example, might be sited near one another to ensure reliability. Or, increasingly, grid planners look to the cutting edge approach of building hybrid power plants, one facility that combines two technologies, such as coal and solar, gas and solar, wind and solar, or more conventional biofuel and coal. Such pairings, Renewable Energy World magazine reports, allow the virtues of one fuel type to compensate for the failings of another.
"The hybrid energy projects of today are really addressing a very particular problem: intermittency," Huard said. "Most renewable forms of energy, not all, have a period of time in which they have less reliability or production of power, especially if they are in a remote location.”
Connecting an intermittent source of power into transmission line is "very inefficient and expensive", he said, which lends weight to the idea of using a hybrid approach in grid planning.
Read the article here.
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