Why Are Some Big Utilities Embracing Small-Scale Solar Power?

InsideClimate News
September 12, 2013

A handful of U.S. utilities have discovered they can save money by encouraging small rooftop solar projects—the same projects utility industry leaders have insisted were too expensive and unreliable to be practical.

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in New York, for instance, is paying developers to build solar panels on top of buildings in tiny towns that are experiencing population booms but don’t have enough electric grid infrastructure to bring in the electricity they need. The pilot initiative will allow the utility to avoid spending more than $80 million to build new transmission lines and grid equipment.

“It’s actually cost-effective to add renewables” this way, said Michael Deering, LIPA’s vice president of environmental affairs.

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