GE sells solar panels to wind farms

This is more than a little bit of a “well, duh, somebody has to have thought of that before” thing, but I can’t recall anybody actually proposing it prior to this: installing solar panels in (or next to) a wind farm facility.

The biggest problems (other than cost) for wind and solar energy is that they’re both inconsistent and produce more energy in areas that tend to be unpopulated.  This means that they require large capital costs to build power storage and transmission infrastructure in order for them to function like gas/coal/oil power plants, which can be turned up or down as needed and can be built right next to where the power’s needed.

So GE and Invenergy have teamed up to construct a solar facility right next to a wind farm in Illinois, allowing the two facilities to use the same transmission lines and support each other in their respective low-production periods.  Efficient, no?  Like I said, I’m wondering why I can’t recall hearing about this before.  Other than my memory being faulty (which it is, sadly) are there reasons this hasn’t been done up till now?


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