Can Solar Power Outshine Infrastructure Challenges?

As the country pushes ahead with renewable energy goals, the challenges facing the grid are substantial, but not insurmountable, according to energy experts. Keeping the lights on through a tangle of transmission lines and substations with fluctuating demands has always been a complex task. Add to that the relatively unpredictable ups and downs of solar or wind energy generation dependent on the weather. New York State, as well as other regions across the United States, will have to ensure reserve energy is ready for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. It will have to make sure the grid’s infrastructure, including transmission lines, is ready to deliver the energy from the solar arrays or wind farms to the customers. Reserve capacity and transmission, “are age-old issues that aren’t new in the energy space,” said New York Department of Public Services Manager of Strategic Engagement Peter Olmsted. But, he said, renewable energy planning gives us an opportunity to view them in a new light. It brings new challenges, but also new solutions.


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