To the editor:
American Electric Power (AEP) recently announced that it wants the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to authorize policies that favor large utility-scale solar over distributed solar. I believe this is a big mistake.
Rooftop solar, other forms of distributed power and micro-grids improve our national security. Large power plants, regardless of type, are more vulnerable to terrorism and natural disasters. If a large power plant is destroyed, electrical service to a large area can be disrupted. Distributed power sources and micro-grids can keep homes and businesses in operation, and even help sustain the grid when a large plant is down.
Distributed power sources, such as rooftop solar, give consumers greater freedom and control of their own power needs. Solar power, in particular, also provides its peak power during peak use, when electricity is most expensive. This decreases the cost of supplying electricity for everyone on the grid.
The decreasing cost of installing solar on homes and businesses is making it a very popular choice locally, as evidenced by the nearly 60 homes and businesses that have signed up so far for the Delaware County Solar Cooperative. This should be encouraged with favorable public policy. Utility-scale solar should be built in conjunction with, not at the expense of, distributed solar.