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Renewable Distributed Generation: How Propane Can Help

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) regularly provides updates on new initiatives they are undertaking in Research & Development. Take for instance this recent update on how propane can be paired with a solar array or wind turbine to provide continuous power when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Distributed Generation can be good for:

  1. Remote locations like off-grid systems (islands, military installations, some E&P’s and mining companies have also started experimenting with this)
  2. Places with high electricity and transmission costs

However, key drawbacks are:

  1. Power needs to be available on a continuous basis 24/7
  2. Wind and solar are subject to intermittency issues- grid operators are never sure how much output they will get on a given day

Adding propane to make a hybrid Distributed Generation system can improve systems like this by:

  1. Ensuring that power is available 24/7, even for remote sites
  2. Acting as backup for unexpected wind or solar generation shortfall
  3. Maintaining a low-emissions project
  4. Lowering the average operating and maintenance costs of a project

The bottom line is that propane can be a positive, green complement to these systems by improving overall performance and reliability while keeping costs down.  Here’s another picture of what this setup can look like:

We’ll keep you posted on more updates from PERC’s Research and Development department in the future.

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