The high price of intermittent solar and wind power isn’t measured just by the per kilowatt-hour purchase price, usually three to four times that of available “market” power. Fluctuating power requires expensive accommodation to the transmission grid – like the $15.5 million proposed substation Green Mountain Power wants to build in the Northeast Kingdom.
"Doug Smith, writing for GMP, described the project as partly a reliability project but also one of the steps underway to cost-effectively reduce current congestion in what’s called the Sheffield-Highgate Export Interface (SHEI). The project could result in a significant economic benefit to Vermont electric customers, Smith wrote to Vermont utility regulators. The grid constraints continue to put a hold on medium-sized and even small solar projects in the SHEI region, such as two mid-sized solar projects proposed last year for sites in Jay and a home-sized 30-kilowatt solar array in Derby. GMP petitioned for the substation and line upgrade project along with the water and light departments for the villages of Morrisville and Johnson.
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