Solar Energy

See Solar and Wind Power in Action on New Electric-Generation Data Site

A new website shows how much electricity solar, wind, and other power sources generate in Arizona on an hourly and daily basis.

The Southwest Variable Energy Resource Initiative's website allows the public to achieve a better understanding of how different generation sources mix to bring us the juice we need to run our lives. SVERI, the initiative's friendly acronym, was formed in 2012 from a coalition of power producers across the Southwest, the goal being to figure out how the different sources would be integrated over the next 20 years.

See also: -Solana: 10 Facts You Didn't Know About the Concentrated Solar Power Plant

In partnership with the University of Arizona's Renewable Energy Network, the website was created by several UA physics experts and web developers. It shows combined data from the participating utilities: Arizona Public Service, El Paso Electric, Imperial Irrigation District, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Salt River Project, Tucson Electric Power and the Western Area Power Administration's Desert Southwest Region.

"Challenges being faced in the Pacific Northwest and California in integrating renewable generation drove the creation of (SVERI)," said Robert Kondziolka, director of Transmission and Generation Operations at SRP and the current chair of the management committee for SVERI, in a prepared statement.

The objective, according to Kondziolka, is to figure out the problems inherent in adding renewable energy to the grid, and solve them with the ultimate goal of keeping up the steady stream of 24/7 power Americans have come to expect.

We haven't played with the website long enough to understand how to spot any of those problems, but the site captured our attention for a few minutes this morning so we thought we'd pass it on to you. It shows how solar production soared in mid-day yesterday and the unpredictability of wind sources. Just input the day you want to see and a graph pops up with the info. Unfortunately, the solar data comes from commercial sources only -- rooftop solar data is expected to be added later this year.

Still, the solar-obsessed crowd will want to bookmark this one.

Click here to visit the SVERI site.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.