Tag: "ev"

01/03/19

  08:43:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 445 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Economics, PWP

Pasadena Adopts New Integrated Resource Plan

Pasadena adopts IRP

As 2018 drew to a close, the Pasadena City Council adopted a new Integrated Resource Plan that shows the path forward for the City in the coming years. Not surprisingly, there are some big changes in store as PWP moves away from fossil fuels and toward a greener future. Here’s our take…

Where are we now?

We love Pasadena, but it has a long way to go before it becomes as green as we would like it to be.  For example, here is PWP’s latest power content label that shows the sources of its electricity, compared to California as a whole:

PWP 2017 Power Content Label

 

Yikes! 31% of our power overall comes from burning coal - compared to just 4% for the state overall!  

Somewhat surprising is the relatively low amount of natural gas in the mix, given that the Glenarm power plant is now entirely fueled by natural gas.

On the other hand, the City is doing very well in utilizing biomass and waste materials as a fuel source, well ahead of such efforts in the state as a whole.

So it is clear that a great deal of work is yet to be done, and it is the intent of the newly adopted IRP to show the way.

One thing that jumps out of the new plan is that coal is to be eliminated entirely by June of 2027 when existing supply contracts expire, and no new coal contracts will be signed.  Moreover, that plant is scheduled to switch to natural gas by 2025, so coal burning for PWP should end by then.

Distributed Energy Resources

As of the writing of the IRP, there were 1,303 PWP customers who have installed solar power systems at their homes or commercial/non-profit sites.  Collectively, those systems amount to 10.4 MW of installed capacity, with an estimated annual production of 16,600 MWh of energy.  That makes the average installed system size just under 8 kW.

One baffling detail in the planning section of the report: relying on a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis by the Lazard consulting firm, they assert that the LCOE of residential solar (after allowing for the federal tax credit) is from 14.5-24¢/kWh!  Frankly, we aren’t sure how they arrived at that number, since our projects generally project an LCOE in the 9-11¢/kWh range.

So more solar is in PWP’s future, but they won’t be supporting it on homes, schools, or businesses anymore.  Sad.

Other Takeaways…

Here are a couple more takeaways from the 249-page report:

  • The City is planning on installing 122 EV charging stations in the next few years
  • Electric bill increases would range from roughly 2.7% for residential customers, and up to 3.4% for commercial customers

You can find the entire report here: Pasadena’s Integrated Resource Plan.

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02/29/16

  07:26:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 211 words  
Categories: Electric Cars that Run on Sun

EVs are Coming - Fast!

EVs are comingHere at Run on Sun we are big fans of Electric Vehicles (EVs) - we started writing about them years ago as a natural marriage, if you will, with solar power.  We have long had a page on our website devoted to the synergy between solar and EVs, and we drive a Volt as our main company car. 

But one thing we hear from skeptics is  that EVs will never replace gasoline cars - they are too expensive or they are too limited in range (that latter point being why we drive a Volt and not a Leaf).  But an interesting analysis from Bloomberg Business suggests that this will change, and far faster than most might think!  Check out their very thought provoking video (h/t climatecrocks.com):

Quite the range of opinions on EV penetration - from 1% of new car sales in 2040 (according to Exxon) to 50% in this video.  Frankly we are betting with Bloomberg.  People who drive EVs have no desire to revert to an internal combustion engine.  When you combine that EV with solar power to charge it, you are really getting to a game changer.

So what if, as the video suggests, instead of having to regulate away fossil fuels, we just stopped buying them?  That future can’t get here fast enough!

11/14/12

  11:08:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 219 words  
Categories: Electric Cars that Run on Sun

Tesla Model S - Motor Trend's Car of the Year

At Run on Sun we have long been fans of electric vehicles (EVs) - we devoted a page on our website to EVs and their cousins, the plug-in hybrids, years ago.  So it is most gratifying to see the traditional auto universe wise up to something we’ve been saying for a long time - EVs are the future of driving. Now Motor Trend magazine has made it official by designating the Tesla Model S as its 2013 Car of the Year.

By any measure, the Model S is deserving of the title - it is crazy quick with a zero to 60 time of less than 4 seconds, it has great range of well over 200 miles per charge, and it can do all of that while looking great and transporting a real family in great comfort.  But we love the car because of what it’s not - a gas guzzling, carbon-emitting dinosaur!

Alas, the Model S is out of our price range but it is a great step forward in producing a “real” car that happens to be powered by the most advanced drive train in the world.

You can learn about other EVs - and how to fuel them with clean solar power - on our website.  After all, if you are going to have the most sophisticated car in the world, shouldn’t it Run on Sun?

08/24/11

  09:02:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 538 words  
Categories: Solar Economics, Electric Cars that Run on Sun, Commercial Solar

Costco Cutting Chargers - Cites???

Every now and then you come across a news item that leaves you scratching your head - “What were they thinking?” you wonder. That was our reaction to a NY Times article reporting that giant retailer Costco is removing its already installed charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EVs). Really? Now they are doing this?  Just as modern, capable EVs (and plug-in hybrids or PHEVs) become widely available, they are removing their charging stations?  How does that make any sense?

sorry we are getting rid of this chargerCostco had originally installed its chargers back during the original EV boom that was documented in Who Killed the Electric Car.  That boom ended when the California Air Resources Board caved on their EV mandate and GM - which had only leased, not sold its EV-1 vehicles - recalled them from their drivers and sent them to the scrap pile (despite howls of protest).  But all of that took place years ago.  So why remove the chargers now?

According to Costco management, the chargers were not being used enough to justify keeping them.  Now part of that might be due to the age of the chargers which makes them a poor match for today’s EVs.  Yet, the California Energy Commission has a program in place to help pay for upgrading old chargers - like the ones at Costco - with state-of-the-art models that are perfectly matched to the new round of EVs.  “Not interested,” said Costco.  According to the article:

Mr. Hoover [the general manager for Costco in northern California] said that E.V. charging was “very inefficient and not productive” for the retailer. “The bottom line is that there are a lot of other ways to be green,” he said. “We have five million members in the region, and just a handful of people are using these devices.”

Mr. Hoover said the company was aware of the state-funded upgrade program, but did not see a compelling reason to take advantage of it.

“Why should we have anybody spend money on a program that nobody’s thought through?” he said.

Hoover’s dismissive attitude was reflected in the comments - particularly the comments “highlighted” by NY Times editorial staff - that were shockingly ill-informed.  Here’s one example:

Isn’t it enough the public has to subsidize the purchase of these slow-moving boondoggles, must we continue to coddle them throughout their entire (mercifully, short) lifespans? Calling them “green", btw, is laughable, as if the electricity coming through these chargers was generated by pixies using fairy dust. In the unlikely event these fadcars ever became popular, they’d add to the stress on our already over-burdened electric grid.

As we have noted before, we don’t believe in electricity produced by “fairy dust” - but we do believe that EVs, when combined with solar power systems - provide a way to have an incredibly cleaner driving system than what most of us are using today.  And numerous studies have demonstrated that for EVs charging at night, they will impose no burden at all on the grid.  Indeed, as the grid gets “smarter” EVs have the potential to help even out demand by providing power back to the grid.

The good folks over at Plug In America have launched a letter writing campaign to try and reverse Costco’s curious decision.  We encourage you to check it out.

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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