The age of customized renewables solutions

Energy transition

Chris Brown
President of Sales and Service in the United States and Canada at Vestas
Published on 03rd of January 2020

The economics of wind power have been extremely favorable for the past decade. As Greentech Media recently pointed out, research from the Department of Energy shows, “wind prices have dropped by $50 per mega-watt-hour in eight years.” That’s one of the key reasons why the industry has shattered expectations and records and now provides power to well over 20 million American homes and businesses. With the recent extension of the PTC, and even in a post-PTC landscape, the economics of wind will continue to be healthy. But wind won’t be the only star of the show. The economics of solar and storage will also continue to improve.

For years, purchasers and developers of renewables have taken advantage of favorable market forces and prioritized what was on sale: wind. But we know renewable energy buyers, including C&I customers, will look to purchase what will be on sale in the future. And there’s a lot of industry chatter about solar plus storage fitting the bill.

For a company that is inking deals for wind, solar, and storage combined and individually, we understand the market and technological forces that are transforming the industry. That is why we believe solar, and storage to a lesser extent will be pillars of the new era we’re entering. But, so will wind in a big way. The industry must recognize that the period we’re entering is the age of customized renewables solutions.

We’re at a point, especially for many C&I players, where companies like Vestas know exactly which type of customized renewables solution will best fit their needs. And even though solar is on sale and might be the best choice for some customers, C&I customers are still demanding flat loads, so many are taking great precautions in how to best design their power systems. It’s crucial not to forget that companies have different power needs, with many C&I companies having night-heavy power requirements. Having an in-depth understanding of a company’s demand profile is essential to match the right load profile for that company successfully.

In the early months of 2020, Anne Vedel, VP of Market Development for Vestas North America, will take a closer look at the benefits of customized renewables solutions. She’ll examine the costs of wind, solar plus storage, demand profiles for specific industries, and provide insights into what type of power can best meet those needs now and in the future.

We’re at a fascinating point in this industry. There are even signs coming from the marketplace that traditionally solar dominated markets will become more attractive for wind generation and vice versa. I believe we will increasingly see multiple technologies come together to provide optimal customized solutions for customers. Whether that means deploying more wind, solar, and storage or a combination of all three, doing so with the right knowledge, data, and experience is key to making the best decisions. Getting this right for renewable energy buyers, especially C&I players, means advancing the industry now and far into the future.

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