TOU vs. Time of Renewables: We don’t need the utility monopoly to do a forecast of when to use renewables

The final rates and times in the settlement rates are not bad.  In the near term, we do have a strong summer coal peak at 4-5PM.  This rate discourages power use then.

For the next 1.5 years, the cleanest energy (except in Boulder, perhaps) will be midnight to 5 AM.  This rate works well for that. By having the low rate extend through morning to 1 PM, we can promote shifting power use into 8AM to 1PM slot to support more PV as it starts to be the cleanest power during the day. Boulder could start now.

  • With good education & third-party appliances (like EVS) programmed right, we could do some significant demand shifting towards the right renewables within this agreement.
  • Near term, wind at night.  Medium and long term: PV during day (until 1 pm at least).  Stretch goal, use power between 7PM and 1PM only when it is renewable.
  • These strategies could be implemented on the customer side.  I could see business opportunities to automate these strategies to make them invisible to the customer.
  • Businesses such as ENEL, Uplight, etc. could be ready to step in here.

This should be a very important enabling piece for Xcel to give open access to its renewables forecasts. We don’t need Xcel to do a forecast of when to use renewables.  I was wondering if the paper would run a renewables forecast like they do weather and pollen.  It could bring awareness. Using power when it is renewable is barely more complicated than sorting your recyclables and possibly more impactful.