Cornwall’s high solar capacity and poor grid infrastructure make it the ideal place for energy storage to take hold, according to solar industry veteran Ray Noble.
Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Noble explained that Cornwall has been at the forefront of renewable deployment over the years but its grid infrastructure is nearly at capacity. He said: “When you start looking at the grid in Cornwall you find that it is very weak. Therefore, it is the ideal place to start thinking about smart technologies, smart grids, moving electricity around, storage of electricity – you name it.”
In light of the region’s potential to benefit from storage, the National Solar Centre is hosting a Smart Solar Energy event that will aim to help local installers get to grips with the many facets of smart technologies and how they can combine with solar PV.
Noble added: “You could say that Cornish installers are in the position whereby they are facing difficulties installing solar because it’s near to capacity. Therefore, how do they maintain their business? Logic dictates that this is the place that we should be starting with storage.
“There is some low-hanging fruit in terms of storage projects out there – even at today’s prices,” continued Noble. “Because the prices are predicted to fall by 50% in three years, the time is right for installers to start exploring the option of storage.
“In effect, you have a three year strategy to educate a market, knowing that they have a grid constraint issue to deal with, knowing that the solution is going to be there in cost effective terms in three years, but knowing that there is some low-hanging fruit to get started with.
“What the National Solar Centre is aiming to do is to hold installers’ hands, take them through it and show them the real potential of smart solar.”
Noble concluded: “By hosting this smart energy event we’re hoping to take it to the next stage. What you can do in Cornwall could then be replicated in various other parts of the country in terms of smart grids, smart technology, the use of storage linked into either existing or new renewable supplies etc.”
The National Solar Centre’s Smart Solar Energy event will be held on 29 January 2015 at the Eden Project.