In honour of the solar eclipse on Monday, SaskPower shared what it’s been saying about solar power for many years. The problem with reusing years-old information about technology, is that sometimes you get things wrong due to advances in the technology. There should not be so many factual errors in SaskPower’s communications with the public. It’s a sore point for me, because it’s so critical that people understand the capabilities (and true limitations) of renewable energy technologies. Only by changing how we power our electrical grid and daily lives, can we quickly leave fossil fuels in the past to reduce damaging climate changes, and health problems from emissions.
I’m one of those 400 #solar energy providers to the SaskPower grid. It’s known as Net Metering, because the net electricity used, at the end of a year is billed to me, but any generated above equality is kept in SaskPower’s favour.
Photons, not IR/heat is collected from light, & is converted into electrons (electricity). Heat causes additional resistance / lower output. Telling people otherwise could convince them that seasonally cold Regina isn’t a great place for solar, when it’s actually a top location in the world!
As you can see from my examples, SaskPower has some explaining to do, about the [mis]information they’re sharing on their Twitter feed. I worry what else they’re telling people, that’s as inaccurate.
ADDED: Sent this to SaskPower. I’ll let you know what they do to correct the record.
“SaskPower shared some inaccurate information on its series of tweets during the solar eclipse. Will SaskPower correct the record, and tweet correct information about solar power from this point forward?
Please let me know when SaskPower issues corrections, and I’ll update my article.
“Thank you, your inquiry has been submitted.
A SaskPower representative will respond to your inquiry shortly.”
UPDATE: They replied yesterday:
Thank you for your email. Solar is an important part of a cleaner energy
future for Saskatchewan. We want customers to understand our plans for
solar, and as you note in your blog, the limitations of the technology, as
well. To ensure reliability for customers, intermittent generation sources
like wind and solar require back up baseload power that’s available 24/7.
We also aim to balance a mix of sources that offer reliability,
cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability. We are keenly paying
attention to the development of utility-scale battery storage technology as
you mention and will look forward to testing it once the technology
continues to evolve.
Okay, but what about correcting the mistakes in the information you shared with the public? e.g. equating heat with electricity production in PV cells. That’s not how it works.
Why are you not testing battery storage technology now?