Solar folks resort to more misleading statments
In an Oct 7, 2021 Letter to the Courier-Journal Editor Sarah Steele, Elizabeth Berry, Dan Feeser, and Will Mayer made several misleading and/or false statements.
Their first was “In fact, much of Kentucky is only a moderate solar resource – 4.5 peak sun hours per day, less than the surrounding states of Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri, and more similar to Ohio and Indiana, and the northern climes of Maine and the Canadian provinces.”
Their discussion of “peak sun hours” is devious because they do not define peak. Why would they introduce a term but not explain what it means? Could they hope listeners will think they said, the sun only shines 4.5 hours a day?
Common sense tells us that is not the case, but if challenged I expect they would say oh but it is not the peak that long. Luckily we can look at real-world evidence gathered by LGE-KU’s E.W. Brown Solar Facility. Realtime graphs of the solar electric production are available but here is data from Oct 12 2021.
The absolute peak is at midday as we expect but note there is power being generated from daylight to sunset. Solar by definition depends on the sun, but the net cost of solar has now dropped to the point that it is the least-cost source of power. Every kilowatt-hour produced by solar is a kilowatt-hour less the fossil fuel sources need to create. While legacy coal plants took days to come online, natural-gas generators can come online quickly and work well with solar.
The stop-solar folks also provided no supporting evidence for their comparison of Kentucky’s solar potential vs. other states. When we research their claims by looking at a map of the horizontal solar irradiance we see that Kentucky has more than Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the states farther North and East.
This is significant because solar farms, in this part of Kentucky, sell into the PJM regional electric grid.
Contrary to the stop-solar claims, Kentucky has a higher solar potential than the majority of the states in our regional power grid. People forget the size of the USA when they claim all power should be generated in the Southwest. With current technology, there is no economically viable way to move electric power that far. In addition, it is difficult to move power to even the adjoining regional grid. So this stop-solar claim is simply another example of NIMBY. (Not In My Back Yard)