How do solar and wind power affect reliability?

Solar and wind generation can have both positive and negative effects on electric grid reliability. Solar and wind generation can be less expensive than traditional fossil fuels, which leads to cost savings for members. Heartland's utility-scale solar farms reduce the amount of energy we have to buy during peak times in the summer when pricing is at its highest. Additionally, solar and wind generation do not produce emissions. Pairing solar and wind generation with battery storage could lead to increased grid stability in the future.

However, solar and wind generation are dependent on weather conditions, which means that their output can be unpredictable and intermittent. This can make it more difficult to balance supply and demand on the grid. Solar and wind generation do not produce energy at night or during calm weather, and therefore require energy storage solutions such as batteries to ensure a reliable supply of electricity. And adding more solar and wind to the mix often requires upgrades to the transmission infrastructure. 

Overall, incorporating solar and wind generation into the electric grid can improve reliability by providing a diverse and clean source of energy, but it also requires flexibility and planning to balance the grid and ensure a stable and reliable electricity supply.