As more variable renewable generation comes online, grid operators are facing new challenges posed by the change in daily load shape. A duck-shaped curve illustrates the load shape some grid operators expect to contend with as increasing levels of wind and solar resources create ramping challenges for conventional generation. While some entrenched interests use this perceived obstacle to support the argument that integrating renewable resources is nearly impossible and to call for rolling back renewable portfolio standards, this duck presents an opportunity to manage the grid with greater efficiency, increased energy security, and lower emissions.

In a Vote Solar webinar on May 21, 2014, RAP senior advisor Jim Lazar outlines the readily available options that energy policymakers, regulators, and utilities can use to adapt to high penetrations of variable renewables and flatten the load curve. As he will demonstrate, the resulting “duck” is easier to serve than the projected load would have been, even without the addition of renewable resources—a desirable outcome for almost any electric utility system, including those without significant renewable energy deployment issues.

This presentation is based on the publication Teaching the Duck to Fly.

Visit Vote Solar’s website for a recording of the webinar.

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