Shifting clouds cast shadows over your office, reducing solar exposure to your building’s roof. A summer breeze halts midday, letting hot stagnant air build up as the wind stops blowing. An unexpected storm settles into the region, delaying staff from reaching job sites.
For renewable energy, these weather shifts and interruptions cause what is commonly referred to as intermittency, the sudden change in energy production. But intermittency isn’t only about fluctuations in solar and wind energy.
Sunshine or clouds will change your heating and cooling energy demands, altering residential and business load profiles for the entire day. Hot ambient air building up near a natural gas power plant will lower electricity output considerably, sometimes as much as 15-20% — correlating with the highest demands from air conditioning loads. Remote working policies and changes to business operating hours can also significantly affect demand and shift when those peaks occur.
And while, “That all sounds pretty tricky, but it’s the utility’s problem” is a perfectly reasonable response, being part of the solution is a significant opportunity for businesses looking to turn their utility bill into a reliable revenue stream.