Teaching the Duck to Fly
Jim Lazar takes aim at the widely circulated “duck curve” in this brief policy paper, which highlights 10 low carbon strategies for “teaching the duck to fly.” Mr. Lazar utilizes existing technologies to address the load shape of emerging utility requirements as increasing penetrations of wind and solar resources create ramping challenges for conventional generation. These strategies not only enable greater renewable integration, but they also enhance system reliability, and reduce capital and fuel costs by modifying the load profiles. Metaphorically, Mr. Lazar teaches the duck to fly, by implementing strategies to both flatten the load and introduce supply resources that can deliver more output during the afternoon high load hours. The resulting “duck” is easier to serve than the projected load would have been without the addition of renewable resources—a desirable outcome for almost any electric utility system, including those without significant renewable energy deployment issues. Fundamentally, this issue is no different from the problem utilities have faced for over a century in matching the supply of energy to changing consumer demand. Only in this case, the challenges created by renewables have evolved over a much shorter time frame. Mr. Lazar provides a set of tools to readily manage the transition to renewables and teach the duck to fly.