Kudos to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission for making it easier for regular folks to get into the alternative energy business. The PUC yesterday approved the South Dakota Small Generation Interconnection Rules.
Short explanation: When you hook solar panels or a wind turbine to your house, there will be times when your home energy system cranks out more energy than you need. There will also be windless nights when you need more power than your system and its storage units can provide. Either way, you'll probably want to stay connected to the grid, so you can have a stable backup and sell your excess power. The new interconnect rules make connecting your panels or turbine or cold fusion bucket easier by unifying and simplifying the rules for pouring your juice into the sluice.
These rules will boost distributed power generation, and that's all good. More suppliers means more competition for central power plants (hooray for the free market!), not to mention more redundancy in the system. It'll be a lot harder for a computer glitch or al-Qaeda to knock out our power if it comes from thousands of small generators rather than a centralized system.
Learn more on interconnection standards from the New Rules Project!
Cartoon Blast from the Blast - Cartoonist friend Sara Morean did this a few years back.
3 hours ago